Drink Up

Drink Up!

The First Lady wants you to drink more water. A lot more. Why? Because it’s such a simple act that delivers such a profound benefit. Because “Drink Up!” is a catchy, positive, “consume more” approach rather than delving into details that could be confusing (such as the health benefits) or controversial (like the debate over sugar-sweetened beverages). And because, according to Let’s Move Executive Director Sam Kass, drinking more water is “the simplest, most accessible choice that people can make if they’re trying to make a healthy choice.”

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the newest initiative to help America hydrate in a healthier way (check out the full campaign here (LINK). It’s intention is a good one, as it reinforces what CamelBak has been saying about the profound importance of hydration in health since the company was created. And I understand the challenges of trying to convey large amounts of information in itty-bitty sound bytes.

But I do have one key sticking point-namely, that it feels heavy with sponsorship from leading bottled water companies. My concern is that this might cause many Americans to mistakenly conclude “wow, I really should be drinking more bottled water.” But bottled water is a double whammy: not only does it eat up precious food dollars (costing more than gasoline on a per gallon basis), but there’s the issue of sustainability-how much waste will be generated if 300 million Americans start reaching for bottled water several times each day?

In an economy where every food dollar counts, and where “cost” is consistently listed as one of the top barriers to eating healthy, nutrient rich foods, I’d love to see “Drink Up” include one more simple step: fill up a reusable, BPA-free water bottle with tap or filtered tap water. Reusable bottles offer Americans one of the most cost-effective ways to sip like the First Lady, while also helping to preserve the planet for her- and our-grandchildren.

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