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Drink Up?

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  September 16, 2013 11:35 AM

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Source:  Partnership for Healthier America

The latest campaign by First Lady, Michelle Obama, is to encourage Americans to drink more water 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.”

In the future, you will be seeing ads for the Drink Up campaign like this one:

Not too surprising, the American Beverage Association, which represents the makers of soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and bottled water and the International Bottled Water Association are fully behind the campaign.  According to CBS news, the water drop logo (see above) associated with the Drink Up campaign will soon be featured on select water bottles and drinking fountains.

I think the message to drink more water can be a positive one if individuals who routinely drink a bottle of sugary beverages, such as sodas and sport drinks, replace it with naturally occurring calorie and sugar-free water.  Because 20 ounces of cola pour up 250 calories, all of which come from the 17 teaspoons of added sugars in the bottle, switching over to water is a nutrition no-brainer. 

The only issue that I have with the campaign is that the public needs to be made aware that they don’t have to consume costly bottled water to stay hydrated and be healthy.  Tap water is the biggest bargain in the neighborhood as it costs less than a penny a gallon.  In comparison, the price of bottled water can be hefty, ranging from $1 to $4 a gallon.  If you pay $1.50 per bottle (the typical price in a convenient store) and buy two bottles of water daily, you will be shelling out more than $20 a week and $80 monthly.  Over the course of 12 months, you would be spending more than $950 on a beverage that is practically free from your kitchen faucet. 

If you are worried about the quality of the water in your home, don't fret.  For most Americans, the drinking water in their homes comes from a community water system. The source of this municipal water can be underground wells or springs, or rivers, lakes, or reservoirs.  Regardless of the source, all municipal water is sent to a treatment plant where any dirt and debris are filtered out, bacteria are killed, and other contaminants are removed.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the safety of public drinking water with national standards that set limits for more than 80 contaminants, either naturally occurring ones, such as bacteria, or man-made ones, such as chemicals, that may find their way into your drinking water. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been invested in these treatment systems to ensure that the public water is safe to drink.  In fact, some bottled waters may actually be from a municipal water source.

So feel free to Drink Up…..just save yourself a lot of money and drink tap water.

Follow Joan on Twitter at:  joansalgeblake

Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.
This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

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