Off with their heads! Nobody second guesses Queen Mooch.
First lady Michelle Obama’s new drive to get Americans to drink more water may seem unlikely to make waves, but it spills into areas that have stirred intense controversy among scientists, public health campaigners and environmentalists.
In a speech she’s set to deliver Thursday in Watertown, Wis., as part of her Let’s Move initiative, the first lady is expected to declare that increasing water consumption will improve the health of kids and all Americans. The speech will kick off an intense media campaign that will include TV spots featuring the first lady, as well as Web ads and social media postings encouraging Americans to “#drink H2O.”
“I’ve come to realize that if we were going to take just one step to make ourselves and our families healthier, probably the single best thing we could do is to simply drink more water,” Obama said in a press release. “That’s it – it’s really that simple. Drink just one more glass of water a day and you can make a real difference for your health, your energy, and the way you feel.” […]
However, several public health experts contacted by POLITICO said they had concerns about the way the White House was framing the campaign. Those experts said the health benefits of increased water consumption are murky and there are no widely accepted criteria for how much water individuals should drink each day.
“There really isn’t data to support this,” said Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania. “I think, unfortunately, frankly, they’re not basing this on really hard science. It’s not a very scientific approach they’ve taken. … To make it a major public health effort, I think I would say it’s bizarre.”
Goldfarb, a kidney specialist, took particular issue with White House claims that drinking more water would boost energy.
”The idea drinking water increases energy, the word I’ve used to describe it is: quixotic,” he said. “We’re designed to drink when we’re thirsty. … There’s no need to have more than that.”
“The key is drinking water is great and replacing all the junk we drink with water would be fantastic,” said Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina. “Water is the best thing we could drink. … But the Kass arguments do not fit our science of water and dehydration as much as he is pushing.”