Last Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama with actress Eva Longoria, and the Partnership for a Healthier America launched “Drink Up,” a new campaign that encourages people to drink more water. The new initiative adds to the first lady’s Let’s Move campaign, started in 2010 to emphasize improving child nutrition along with exercise.
Launched in Watertown, WI, a town that has been recognized for the quality of its water, Drink Up focuses on encouraging children to drink more water whether it comes from a faucet, an underground spring, a rambling river, or a plastic bottle. “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. So ‘Drink Up’ and see for yourself,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.
While clean drinking water is relatively accessible in the United States, adults and children often do not remember to stay hydrated. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 43% of American adults drink less than 4 cups of water a day and about 25% of children under the age of 19 do not drink any water on a given day.
Drink Up is supported by the American Beverage Association (ABA), major bottled water suppliers, including Poland Spring, Dasani, and Voss, and water filtering solutions suppliers, including Brita. Brita will also be working with Eva Longoria to create a uniquely designed on-the-go water bottle as well as including “Drink Up” as part of its partnership with NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”
The Drink Up campaign as received criticism in recent days. Some have contended that there is not a hydration crisis in the United States. Marion Nestle, a food scientist from New York University, questions the message that Americans don’t drink enough water. She goes on to say, “I’m not aware of any nutrition science that backs that up…there’s so much water in food and in what people are eating that unless you’re an elite athlete, at very high altitude or old where your thirst mechanism doesn’t work very well , it’s just simply a non-issue in my view.”
Others criticize the partnership with the bottled water industry, as Emily Wurth, the water program director for Food and Water Watch, states “We applaud the first lady’s initiative to encourage people to choose water over sugary beverages, but we do have concerns that this partnership is working in conjunction with the bottled water industry and wish that instead she were encouraging people to choose the much more affordable, more regulated option of tap water.”
While tap water, filtered tap water to be exact, is a better an option than bottled water for economic, environmental, and health reasons, we are excited that First Lady Michelle Obama is encouraging everyone to Drink Up!