Go Ahead and Drink Lots of Water. Just Don’t Be Fooled Into Thinking It Will Improve Your Health.


Oh man:

First lady Michelle Obama led Wisconsin high school students in a toast to “the best drink in town” Thursday as she launched a campaign to encourage people to drink more water — something she said was the single best thing Americans could do to improve their health.

“Water is so basic, and because it is so plentiful, sometimes we just forget about it amid all the ads we watch on television and all the messages we receive every day about what to eat and drink,” Mrs. Obama said. “The truth is, water just gets drowned out.”

We all know this isn’t true, right? You should just drink when you’re thirsty. You don’t need eight cups of water a day, and drinking boatloads of water doesn’t improve your health. It doesn’t clear your kidneys of toxins, it doesn’t improve organ function, it doesn’t help you lose weight, it doesn’t prevent headaches, and it doesn’t improve your skin tone. More here.

On the other hand, if the First Lady’s message is to drink water instead of sugary crap, that would be fine. Unfortunately, that message got ditched long ago, a victim of corporate realities. According to food scientist/activist Marion Nestle, Obama’s anti-childhood obesity campaign “is premised on the idea that change won’t happen without buy-in from the food industry.”

Which is, sadly, probably true, and the article above suggests that the food industry has accepted the water message because beverage companies all make as much money from selling bottled water as they do from selling soda. So whatever. The Diet Coke brand manager may not be thrilled with this water initiative, but the Dasani guy thinks it’s just peachy.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest