Soda Wars: Michelle Obama tells kids to drink water

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White House,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Michelle Obama,Health Care

First lady Michelle Obama’s national health campaign to get kids to replace french fries with carrot sticks is now turning in a new direction: drinks.

On Thursday, America’s First Mom will join actress Eva Longoria to urge everyone to drink more water in a campaign dubbed “Drink Up.” The goal: replace a Coke with a bottle of Aquafina, or any of the other 14 water brands her campaign is endorsing - BEVERLY HILLS 9OH2O, DASANI, EVIAN Natural Spring Water, Hint, Voss, WAT-AAH!, North America’s Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Nestlé Pure Life, Ozarka, Poland Spring, resource and Zephyrhills.

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She is traveling to Watertown, Wis., to announce the initiative.

From the White House:

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA TO ASK EVERYONE TO “DRINK UP” WITH MORE WATER

Mrs. Obama will join the Partnership for a Healthier America and more than a dozen organizations to announce new effort to promote drinking more water

Washington, DC – Today, First Lady Michelle Obama will join the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and actress Eva Longoria in Watertown, Wisconsin to announce PHA’s new effort to encourage everyone to drink more water, an easy choice to improve health and well-being every day. The effort brings together more than a dozen organizations committed to encouraging everyone to drink more water more often. According to the CDC, approximately one fourth of children do not drink any water on a given day. This new effort will remind people that drinking more water helps you have more energy to do more, longer and with better focus.

“Since we started the Let’s Move! initiative, I’ve been looking for as many ways as possible to help families and kids lead healthier lives. 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,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “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. So Drink Up and see for yourself.”

To remind families of the importance of drinking water, supporters of PHA’s effort will carry the Drink Up logo on nearly 300 million packs of bottled water; more than half a billion bottles of water; 200,000 packages of reusable bottles; and more than 10,000 reusable bottles in the next year. Additionally, more than 10,000 outdoor public taps are expected to carry the brand over the next few years. Cities will also be utilizing the logo to encourage people to drink more tap water. And hosts on a dozen TV shows are participating in an around the clock, cross-network, bilingual day of drinking water and encouraging their audience to Drink Up.

“PHA was launched a few short years ago to engage the private sector in helping make the healthy choice the easy choice for busy parents and families. Drinking more water is an easy choice that nearly every one of us—regardless of where we live, what we do, or how busy we are—can make every day,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We applaud the efforts of the supporters who have joined us today, and we thank them for their contributions to an effort that we hope will serve as a continual reminder that you are what you drink, and when you drink water, you Drink Up.”

PHA will be asking people across the country to visit www.youarewhatyoudrink.org to upload pictures of themselves drinking water, or find the campaign on Instagram (www.instagram.com/urH2O), tagging their pictures #drinkH2O. During the event, the First Lady will lead 2,000 Watertown High School students and community members in a “Drink Up” toast, and then participate in festival-like water games alongside students.

“Lots of people want to live healthier, but life gets busy and sometimes making the healthier choice can seem difficult,” said actress Eva Longoria. “Drinking more water is a simple, easy choice that most people can make every day. I'm thrilled that so many organizations have come together today to help remind people that you are what you drink, and drinking water is you at your best.”

Organizations that have committed to encourage everyone to drink more water more often include:

Marketing, Research and Creative: To encourage and remind people to Drink Up, PHA brought together research, marketing, and creative talents to help create and promote its message, including Young & Rubicam, Buck, Antfood, Nielsen, Proclivity Media, VML, and Core Strategies.

Water filter and reusable water bottle companies: BRITA is adding the Drink Up logo to packages that contain its re-usable filtering bottles. Through a partnership with NBC’s The Biggest Loser, BRITA is also promoting the Drink Up message on one of the most popular TV shows on air. SOMA will help promote the effort through social and digital publicity. S’Well Bottle will promote Drink Up digitally and will add the logo to bottles.

Municipalities: Los Angeles County, Chicago, Houston and Watertown, Wisconsin will use the PHA creative in numerous ways to inspire their residents to drink more water. They will place the logo and PSAs on busses and bus stops, in municipal buildings and other places to encourage people to drink more water.

Public drinking stations: GLOBALTAP will launch a specially designed bottle and filling station for schools and public locations featuring the Drink Up colors and logos. For every public tap station GLOBALTAP installs, one Drink Up tap station will be donated by GLOBALTAP at no charge to a local school. GLOBALTAP plans to have more than 10,000 taps in public locations, and schools within the next few years. Smart Tap will use a unique form of out-of-home marketing by adding the Drink Up logo to its taps, as well as promoting Drink Up messages through social media and other efforts.

Bottled water brands: Aquafina, BEVERLY HILLS 9OH2O, DASANI, EVIAN Natural Spring Water, Hint, Voss, WAT-AAH!, and Nestlé Waters brands (North America’s Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Nestlé Pure Life, Ozarka, Poland Spring, resource and Zephyrhills) will be promoting the Drink Up message on products, through public events, via digital, print, social and out of home media efforts and other publicity.

Industry groups, foundations, non-profits and media companies: The American Beverage Association and International Bottled Water Association are promoting the effort, while the California Endowment and PVBLIC Foundation are providing financial support for the PHA initiative. Additionally, Food Corps will incorporate messaging from this effort into schools nationwide. Unite4:Good, Cooking Light, MyRecipes, BlogHer, Inc., Disney and Nickelodeon will also promote drinking more water.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.