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Tips & Model Language for

Your Message to Washington

How to write a comment as an official representative or spokesperson for an organization:

Tips to give your comment maximum impact:

  • Comments are most effective if they are courteous, professional and respectful

  • Each comment, to be counted as a unique and individual piece of input, should include the personal or professional opinions and experiences or examples of the writer

  • Include specific information or a constructive suggestion

  • Comment readers must read 1000’s of comments. Make sure yours is clear, concise and relevant

  • If you have many supporters, it is more effective to send one well-written comment and then attach a longer letter or document with signatures from your membership or other interested parties, rather than submit many copies of the same comment. Multiple identical copies will not be counted individually. If your members prefer not to join the sign-on letter, they can submit a unique individual comment.

  • Most importantly, submit a comment!


Specific recommendations:

State clearly that you write on behalf of your organization. Briefly describe your organization, its size, and its interest in the matter.

Then state your request.

Example: “ORGANIZATION NAME believes the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines should include clear and actionable language about drinking water in place of sugary drinks. We also urge USDA and HHS to take the necessary steps to add a symbol for drinking water to MyPlate.”

State the reason(s) your organization supports strong guidance on drinking water and a symbol for water on MyPlate.  Examples:


  • Fact-based argument(s) in support of the need to promote drinking water

  • Reasons to discourage consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages

  • How your organization uses the MyPlate graphic and why the addition of a water symbol would be of value in your work

Model language for a comment from an organization:

I am honored to submit this comment on behalf of organization name and description. From our work in the field of _________, we know the important benefits of drinking water: [choose one or more or write your own]


•  As a zero-calorie beverage

•  To reduce development of dental caries

•  As a substitute for sugary drinks

•  As a healthy way to hydrate the body.


The 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans should include clear and actionable language on the importance of drinking water instead of sugary drinks.  [Here are some examples from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report]:


•  “Strategies are needed to encourage the U.S. population to drink water when they are thirsty. Water provides a healthy, low-cost, zero-calorie beverage option.”


•  “Free, clean water should be available in public settings, as well as child care facilities, schools, worksites, publicly funded athletic stadiums and arenas, transportation hubs (e.g., airports) and other community places and should be promoted in all settings where beverages are offered.”


MyPlate is a key tool for nutrition education. Please add a symbol for drinking water.

[Give an example of how this would benefit your work]


•  The Water on MyPlate graphic will help us educate students on our college campus to turn to water as their primary beverage of choice.


•  With the addition of a symbol for drinking water, the MyPlate graphic will become relevant for our dental clinics.


Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

Click here for the USDA online comment submission form for 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate.


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