September 13th, 2013
12:43 PM ET
9 years ago

A few drops of criticism for Michelle Obama's new initiative

Updated 9/13/2013 at 1:31pm

Washington (CNN) – The truth about water, first lady Michelle Obama says, is that drinking more can make you healthier. Except some health experts are critical of the advice, arguing that it simply doesn't hold water.

Obama this week was joined by the Partnership for a Healthier America in encouraging Americans to "drink up."

According to a release, the campaign is meant to "remind people that drinking more water helps you have more energy to do more, longer and with better focus."

Not so fast, experts told CNN's "New Day."

"There's no good evidence that drinking extra water is going to lead to a healthier existence," said Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania.

The White House "decided to sort of support some of these urban myths that have been really debunked over the years," Goldfarb said.

Experts contacted by CNN said that Obama was on the right track but may have missed the mark. Health through hydration is not really about drinking more water for the most part, it's about drinking less soda and other sugary drinks.

Dr. John Dooley of Foxhall Internists had nothing but praise for the first lady's previous health campaign, arguing that it has a lot of science backing it up. The same cannot be said for the "drink up" campaign.

"The claims about extra water itself leading to extra health benefits, that's a bit overstated," Dooley said.

Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. t2vodka

    Whatever, I don't drink soday but maybe once a month, I just don't crave it anymore. When I first switched to just water, I hated it; after a while I started to crave water. Bottom line, the people complaining about what she is doing in these forums are the ones that drink a ton of soda or some other sugary or alcoholic drink. Those that are healthy, and enjoy feeling good know how much water to drink, your body is pretty good about telling you if you just listen.

    September 13, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. H20me

    What could be wrong with drinking a little more water everyday. Good Grief.....

    September 13, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. Grouch

    Michelle, don't you have anything better to do than pester folks with all this nonsense. People are going to drink (eat) what ever the hell they want to. You are not going to change anything.

    September 13, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. JC

    This "the more water the better" nonsense was scientifically debunked over a decade ago.

    September 13, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. NOPhah Kingweigh

    Yeah, it's way better to drink soft drinks or sugary fruit drinks all day long. Is there anything that could be said by anyone named "Obama" that would not immediately be shot down by angry old white people?

    September 13, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. freedom

    The first lady initiatives have been lame – and dictatorial. We don't need her to tell us what to eat or drink. And that garden at the WH – her husband hasn't done anything in his policies to help the farmers in our country. He just makes fun of them. They are both very hypocritical – do not appreciate the office they hold – and want to "fundamentally change" the country that gave them all the opportunities they've had.

    September 13, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Paul Pleasant

    This piece is exactly that. Many of us drink too many sodas. Even the low cal drink mixes contain chemicals that do us no good. I can find an 'Expert' that will tell you the earth is flat.

    September 13, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Jackson

    Ken DC

    How does "drink more water" suddenly turn into "she's talking about drinking water rather than sugary drinks"?

    Not everyone is a mind reader, perhaps she should say what she means rather than saying something else and expecting people to know what she "really" meant to say.....


    People who drink more water will automatically drink less of other things. There is no mind reading necessary, it's an easily understood concept. That is, unless you lack reading comprehension, live in a cave, or choose to be a hater.

    September 13, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Yawn. This red meat for the Teatrolls was brought to you by CNN's desperate rightward shift for ad revenue.

    September 13, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Dorn Hetzel

    Most people drink a finite amount of liquids in a given day, more when it's hot and they're outside. To the extent that they drink more water, without complicating things too much, it seems really likely they will drink less of something else. If they something else they drink less of turns out to be soda, great! Many folks don't like negative instructions ("don't drink soda") but respond better to positive suggestions ("drink more water") and yet the second one may wind up causing the first in many cases. I don't really see any harm in telling people to drink more water, and there's a decent chance of good coming from it...

    September 13, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Maybe the "experts" can provide information on what will allow you to do more, longer and with better focus; instead of just being reactionary."

    To be fair, they probably did. In fact, they probably said a whole lot more than CNN is reporting, but CNN had one goal and one goal only: getting and then broadcasting the soundbites that they could use to manufacture a nontroversy.

    September 13, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. cricutbarista

    The campaign website is I think it is plenty clear that the message is choose water over other beverage choices.

    September 13, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    Please Mrs. Obama, please come out in support of oxygen. Please do it today so by the time that I get home the majority of the GOP will have cut off their oxygen supply. Please, I beg you. Encourage the POTUS to do the same, then maybe something can be accomplished.

    September 13, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Ronnie Jackson

    Except that there IS good evidence that drinking more water can have health benefits. The docs who are naysaying this show absolutely no hesitation in prescribing multiple medications for a single condition. Medications which in many cases are only very slightly more effective than placebo. Who loses if drinking more water can improve your health? People who push pills. And, of course, the Obama haters.

    September 13, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Bob Dobalina

    Eva Longoria is apparently so fearful of having her wealth re-distributed that she signs up for whatever cause the Obamas create.

    September 13, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. Rachel

    I don't know who these critical "experts" are spending their time with....but most folks I know work to keep themselves hydrated. And I mean work. It's a conscious effort. And I'm sorry Mr. Expert but I KNOW the difference in how I feel when I've had enough water and when I haven't. I'm a college educated 40ish white upper-middle class woman. It's taken years for me to REALLY get the message about how important water is for overall health and wellbeing, and I'm not even up to par with where I should be. I can't imagine how folks how are keeping down 3 jobs, running to and fro and have other health education issues are doing with their water intake, but I could imagine that Mrs Obama's little boost could do nothing but help. Leave her alone. You go Michelle!

    September 13, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Bo

    I always think that Obama is the dumbest person on the planet until Michelle opens her mouth.

    September 13, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Cammie

    Brad...typical "Archie Bunker" racial stereotypical comments.

    September 13, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. TommytheT

    wow BOTTLED water. Wonder how that supports our Green environment.

    September 13, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. It's obvious

    She wants to push an agenda without upsetting the drink industry by saying less soda and juice.

    September 13, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Dj

    Takes the kids lunches, obese or not. Now drink water! What will be next out of ehr mouth "let them eat cake?" Waiting for the idiocy to pass and she is a old joke rather than the current one!

    September 13, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. jpmichigan

    One will do what is best for ones self and their family. I do not need any one telling be what is good/bad, for I am not stupid and can do the research my self. When one has nothing better to do one does what the Presidents wife does, gets in every ones business.

    September 13, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Randy

    Wow! This woman could say Good Morning and get criticized. Most Americans don't drink enough water. A hydrated person is a healthier person. People who drink more water drink less caloried drinks. Also if you are full of water, you'll eat less!

    September 13, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. Eyica W

    What ever these couples do, Americans don't appreciate it

    September 13, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. lbdukeep

    I for one, do not drink soda...its not good for you. BUT WATER is very good for you. You need to replenish what you lose on a daily basis. But not bottled water. Nestle and several other corporations would like to tell the world YOU don't have a right to water. And they would like to privatize all water so they can SELL IT TO YOU. Bottles are becoming a problem in the world....plastic waters litter the entire world everywhere you go. There's a whirlpool of garbage over 5 miles wide that is full of plastic bottles...where do YOU think they go. Creatures of the sea swallow them, thinking thats food...and die as a result of ingesting those plastic bottles. WHALES are dying because of our waste – plastic bottles everywhere. BUT precious. WATER IS LIFE!

    September 13, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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