Michelle Obama

The White House's Latest Food Police Efforts Appear All Wet

Science doesn't back up overconsumption of water


Does vodka count?
Credit: Brenderous / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Michelle Obama's latest obesity-fighting nanny state efforts appear to mimic that one person who passes along every health tip he or she comes across on Facebook: Drink more water.

The problem is the idea that we're not drinking enough water is simply not true. That old eight-glass-of-water day nonsense that went around is a complete myth. The average American's diet usually provides all the water he or she needs.

Politico notes that Michelle Obama is scheduled today to kick-off this push to get Americans to drink more water to improve their health. Politico talked to some water experts on the matter:

[S]everal 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."

Nutrition Professor Barry Popkin suggested what the White House's actual intent probably is: to try to get Americans (especially kids) to drink water instead of drinks high in sugar. Obviously such a change is healthier, but that's not the message coming out. The message is about addition, not substitution:

"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."

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  1. Water is a major component of beer so I’m good to go.

    1. Yes, but a lot of this country’s water supply is tainted with dihydrogen monoxide.

      1. Crap. Forgot about the Dihydrogen Monoxide….

        I better stick to Vodka. It’s only Really Awesome Water after all, right?

        1. Still about 60% DHMO. Stick to Everclear, which is only about 5-10% DHMO.

      2. Mine contained hydrogen hydroxide and oxidane, I feel cheated.

  2. A while back (maybe 15 years) a “study” was done on the effects of polarized molecules on human cell damage. The glib conclusion was to the effect “While necessary for life, water has the most destructive long term effect on cell repair due to its highly polarized structure.” So water is the reason we die…awesome.

    1. of course that is also the same property that makes it a near universal solvent and perfect for the combination of amino acids and organic chemicals.

      1. I don’t know. Hydras are immortal and live in water.


        1. ahh the old Hydra meme. Isn’t the discussioin about “is it a new animal” after it reincarnates or is that the jellyfish one. I can’t remember. Also, Planaria. My favorite word and worm all in one.

          1. The stem cells regenerate and it doesn’t age. It isn’t truly immortal because it can die but in an idea environment it does not appear to have preprogrammed cell death.

          2. FTA:
            Research today appears to confirm Martinez’ study.[8]Hydra stem cells have a capacity for indefinite self-renewal. The transcription factor, “forkhead box O” (FoxO) has been identified as a critical driver of the continuous self-renewal of Hydra.[8] A drastically reduced population growth resulted from FoxO down-regulation, so research findings do contribute to both a confirmation and an understanding of Hydra immortality.[8]

            1. My takeaway is that we should be eating these little fuckers.

    2. That sounds like a very silly study. It doesn’t make much sense to say that water damages a cell when a cell couldn’t exist at all without water.

      1. i had to do with the stress of polarized molecules on cell tissues. Again, without water being polarized it wouldn’t work as a solvent thus not allowing life…see the “glib” statement above.

    3. If Chewbacca is in favor of shortening her own life and anyone that listens to her, what is there to complain about?

  3. Do you want America’s Mom to give you a time-out? Then drink your damn water!

  4. The Wookie has to be the most annoying, mendacious piece of shit First Lady in history. Except maybe for Nancy Reagan, who went all “Just Say No” on us.

    1. Were you asleep during the Clinton years, in a coma, or out of the country?

      1. But was she annoying qua first lady, or just a terrible person who happened to be first lady? I can’t really remember anything about Hillary as first lady after the whole health care thingy.

        1. Zeb-

          Remember when she went on the Today show and blamed the “vast right-wing conspiracy” for the rumors that Bill spooged on Monica’s blue dress?

          When she surely knew the rumors were facts?

      2. Hey, at least she mostly stuck to politics, which is already the height of mendacity, rather than dragging the rest of society into that morass.

      3. Good point, but I guess Hillary’s failure with health care and subsequent sidelining made me count her less.

        Let me rephrase: The Wookie is a hugely mendacious piece of shit, much like several other First Ladies.

        1. Hillary also described her unelected ass as a “co-president” which a lot of people found very offensive.

          On second thought, wookies are known to rip the arms off people when they lose. Let the wookie win.

    2. Barbara Bush was kind of OK. I can’t think of anything annoying right off-hand.

      1. Barbara Bush on poor people who were crowded into the Astrodome after Hurricane Katrina: “What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.”

        That’s pretty bad.

        1. Quite some time after she left the White House right? Laura was less annoying, I suspect than the Mother-in-Law.

      2. I can’t really recall Laura Bush being that annoying either. At least she wasn’t trying to stick her nose into crafting policy like Hillary or hectoring people about their dietary choices like the wookie.

        1. I can’t recall anything at all about Laura Bush.

  5. Drinking water is certainly a lot better for you than drinking sugar beverages all the time. But who doesn’t already know that?
    I’m pretty sure that people also know that when you are thirsty, drinking some water is a good idea.

    1. I’m pretty sure that people also know that when you are thirsty, drinking some water is a good idea.

      You have to ask the Egyptian army about that. They tried to train their soldiers not to drink water in the war against Israel. It was a bad idea in desert warfare.

      1. As a general rule, “the opposite of what the Egyptians did in 1967” is good military strategy.

    2. My wife simply will not drink water. Period. She will only drink soda (preferably with whiskey in it), tea or coffee.

      Unfortunately she’s teaching this to our daughter by giving her something flavored when she’s thirsty, instead of water. When I offer her water she goes to her mom for something flavored.

      1. I’d suggest flavored seltzer, but kids don’t seem to like that very much. That’s all I like anymore when I want a cold fizzy soft drink. I’ll occasionally think soda sounds like a good idea and grab one, but I rarely finish it.

        1. -I’ll occasionally think soda sounds like a good idea and grab one, but I rarely finish it.

          This is my experience, especially with Cherry Pepsi.

        2. Seltzer with a splash of fruit juice (orange or grapefruit work best) is extremely refreshing and has flavor, so that’s a good one.

          I learned to like it because I wasn’t allowed to have soda, pure juice, or anything else like that. Remember, folks: you can just forbid your kids having these things. Sure, when they’re at their friend’s house they will, but so what.

          1. Remember, folks: you can just forbid your kids having these things.

            Only if the wife is on board with the idea.

          2. I invented a nice non-alcoholic “cocktail” which I called the Mickey Rooney (sort of like a Shirley Temple but not so sweet). A little sweetened lime juice, a dash of Angostura bitters, seltzer and ice. Very nice and refreshing.

            1. non-alcoholic “cocktail”

              Angostura bitters

              Uh, I think you should probably check the label on those bitters…

              1. That 1 ml of alcohol I put in will probably give it an alcohol content slightly lower than that of fresh orange juice.

        3. Now that I think about it, the daughter will drink bottled water in the car.

      2. I drink mostly iced green tea with lemon juice as a sweetener.

        1. Cream Earl Gray iced tea. I’m addicted. I drink a liter every morning.

        2. I like the iced green teas and herbal teas with a little sweetener/lemon juice. For some reason I don’t care for hot herbal teas, but cold is much more palatable than water.

          I like Valclav Havel’s take. He said drinking water with his meals reminded him too much of when he was in prison.

      3. When I offer her water she goes to her mom for something flavored.

        Have you tried shortening the chain between her manacles and the radiator?

        1. He’s talking about his daughter. Girls don’t HAVE manacles.

    3. You are correct most people know these things or have heard of them before, but I imagine the goal of these awareness or public service campaigns is not to tell people something they have heard of before but to remind them or make the information fresh in their mind (just as the goal of a McDonald’s ad is not to tell people McDonald’s exists but to make them think of them right now).

      My issue with these campaigns is they are probably going to be paid for with taxpayer money. If the First Lady wanted to use the bully pulpit to push drinking more water in an effort fully and voluntarily funded by, say, bottled water companies, I would have no problem.

      1. Sure. I have no problem with people, including the first lady, trying to encourage people to improve their health. But you just know that tax money is going to be spent on this.
        The first lady is in an excellent position to fund-raise for causes like this. She can figure out how to pay for it her damn self.

      2. If the First Lady wanted to use the bully pulpit to push drinking more water in an effort fully and voluntarily funded by, say, bottled water companies, I would have no problem.

        But then she’d just a paid shill for the KKKORPORACHUNZ!!!11!!!1!!!!!

      3. Bo, so trusting and naive.

        The goal of these campaigns is to generate paychecks for consultants, PR companies, ad agencies, etc.

  6. Meh, I can’t get too annoyed about this as long as it’s just a suggestion to drink more water. Nothing here seems to rise to the level of what Bloomberg would do, with his attempted large soda ban.

    And I say this as somebody who’s never been a fan of Obama (either of them) and who strongly prefers Sprite to plain old H2O.

  7. Here is a nice body of water:



    1. Nice.

    2. Holy shit.

      1. And that’s a real redhead, you colorblind shitheel.

        1. She’s not blond?!?

          1. You sicken me. Back to Chive threads of fat girls taking selfies by holding a cameraphone over their heads.

            1. Again with the projection, NutraSweet?

              1. Durr. Maybe you need to eat a sammich! Hurr!

            2. Back to Chive threads of fat girls taking selfies by holding a cameraphone over their heads.

              I know John likes the chubbies. Didn’t know Epi was a chaser as well.

    3. I could drink 70% of her.

      1. That is what I was thinking.

        1. There are nudes out there if you can google freely.

          1. Or scroll down far enough. Derp.

    4. Oh my!

      /George Takei

    5. She’s like Candace Bailey only hotter. I didn’t think that was possible.

  8. Interestingly, after a recent stone attack on my single kidney, I started drinking water exclusively (aside from the occasional juice) and I must say, I’ve never felt so alive. And I hate water. And I don’t really feel any different, and it’s been two months.

    But, all things considered, an initiative to get people drinking water in lieu of other beverages seems rather harmless. Unless some kid drowns.

    1. I hear lemonade is also good for people that suffer with kidney stones.

      1. Try a homeopathic remedy, FoE. Put a single drop of lemon juice into a Olympic-sized swimming pool, mix it thoroughly, and then drink a single thimble full of the pool water. Fix you up in no time.


          1. So hostile. I was just trying to help.

          2. You two organless geeks should get together and start a sideshow.

        2. Where is he suppose to get a drop of lemon juice? Something practical please.

          1. Floridian

            You know, I was just trying to steer some business to your state. This is what I get for being nice.

            I hope your whole penisinsula drowns in a tsunami of dog menses.

        3. It’s the 500 gallons of Olympian piss in the water that makes that work, not the lemon juice, moron.

          1. Maybe if you knew science, I might listen to you.

      2. Depends on the stone (my wife had one where it was helpful). For calcium oxalate stones, citrus drinks (or even citrate supplements) help because excess citrate inhibits calcium stones. Extra water helps by flushing smaller particles before they can agglomerate into stones. Actual medical science, not herbal/homeopathic nonsense.

        1. I just dropped what I passed off at the lab this week so I don’t know what kind I have. But more importantly, HIPAA says you shouldn’t be talking about my stones.

          1. I’ve had a couple of kidney stones (and everyone is right, they are the worst thing ever), but they seemed to disappear or fall apart or something before I fully passed them so I never figured out what they were made of. Pretty pleased that I didn’t have to cram the thing through my urethra as well, though. Going from the kidney to the bladder is plenty for me.

            1. The final leg of the journey is definitely no picnic.

  9. Most of you are walking around dehydrated.

    On this one I’m fine with the First Wookie’s advice.

    1. That’s because I’m not allowed to walk around stoned.

  10. Pretty much everything coming from Choco Nixon or the first wookie sounds like something they heard about on facebook.

  11. I try to drink as much water as I can because I need it to flush out all the hop oil and caffeine.

    But seriously, the more water I drink the betted I feel. Does it make a difference for my overall or long term health? I don’t know but it makes me more alert and makes me feel better physically.

    1. Makes you alert for nearby toilets, I’m sure.

      Daddy mixed Coca-Cola with the milk in my baby baba. I’ve been a Coke drinker ever since. Except I turned off to it when it became New Coke.

  12. You can drink too much water, though. My sister in law got into the “more water you drink the better” and got quite ill. When she went to the doctor and they tested her blood, they told her it was way too diluted and she should just drink when she was thirsty.

    1. The more water I drink, the more I have to piss.

      I figure that, unless I am sweating pretty hard, I’ll know when I need to get something to drink because I’ll get, you know, thirsty. If I ain’t thirsty, I’m pretty sure I’m not dehydrated.

      1. People drop dead of hyperthermia and dehydration without feeling thirsty everyday.

  13. “I said thirsty, sir, not dirty!” – W.C. Fields to someone bringing him water

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