WATERTOWN (WITI) — First Lady Michelle Obama was in Watertown on Thursday, September 12th, launching a national public health campaign aimed at getting Americans to drink more water.
It seems like a fairly non-controversial topic, but when it comes to the real value of the message, some health experts say the glass is half-empty.
The first lady was back in Wisconsin on Thursday for the first time since the presidential campaign.
“We couldn’t have picked a better place to make such a huge announcement. Not only is the name of this town on message, but I heard a couple of years ago, you won the award for the best tasting water in the state of Wisconsin,” Michelle Obama said Thursday.
Michelle Obama says water is so basic that its importance can be overlooked because each person is different.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t recommend a standard daily amount, but according to the CDC, 43% of adults drink less than four cups a day, and 36% drink only one to three cups a day. Seven percent of people drink no water at all.
“If we were going to take just one step to make ourselves and our families healthier, probably the simplest thing we could do is drink more water,” Michelle Obama said.
A government survey shows water doesn’t even crack the top five most popular beverages consumed in American every day.
At Watertown High School, the first lady spoke to water’s health benefits.
“It can even reduce reduce headaches and fatigue, all while cleansing and refreshing our bodies. It’s good stuff,” Michelle Obama said.
Meanwhile, some public health experts say they have concerns with the way the White House is framing the campaign — saying the health benefits of increased water consumption are not supported by data.
“I would call it unfortunate, because it’s — instead of being straight forward about the purpose of it — they’re trying to make it sound like people should go around drinking more water and there’s just no evidence that really is worth the expense and effort that people are going to engage in,” Dr. Stanley Goldfarb said.
“We have to remember that everything a politician does is political, even if you’re a lame duck. If she can promote ideas, and she can promote campaigns, not necessarily political campaigns and she can be successful at it, then she’s building up, not just a substantive success, but she’s building up a kind of political savings account, then if she wants to take on new issues that are more controversial, she’ll have the good will to do it,” UW-Milwaukee Professor Mordecai Lee said.
“When we choose water we choose to be at our best,” Michelle Obama said.
The first lady says she is hosting a discussion at the White House next week to come up with strategies aimed at making the healthy choice the easy choice.