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The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Development Process is Underway

Put Water on MyPlate

The process to develop the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) reflects changes intended to bring greater transparency and offer additional avenues for public input.

On March 28 and 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will hold the first of five 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee meetings that are open to the public. The meeting will feature deliberations by its 20 members, all experts in their fields. They will review scientific evidence on specific nutrition- and health-related topics and scientific questions that, for the first time, reflect both public comments and federal agency input.

Furthermore, an ongoing public comment period opened on March 12 and will remain open throughout the DGA development process. The public and all stakeholders are encouraged to provide comments to the Committee on topics and supporting questions that will yield new 2020 Guidelines.

In this round of DGA development, the Committee will not only examine the role of added sugars in the diet, but also will specifically examine beverages. They will specifically address the question:

“What is the relationship between beverage consumption (such as cow’s milk, milk alternatives, water, 100% fruit juice, sugar-sweetened beverages, beverages with artificial sweeteners, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol) during relevant stages of life?"

The National Drinking Water Alliance is leading an ongoing national campaign to urge USDA and HHS to add a symbol for drinking water to the MyPlate graphic when updating the guidelines. Visit our Take Action page for more information about the DGA’s development process and how to make your voice heard.

The nation’s Dietary Guidelines are updated every five years and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition programs and policies, providing food- and beverage-based recommendations to help prevent diet-related chronic diseases and promote overall health. According to the USDA, the next edition of the guidelines will continue to focus on dietary patterns of what Americans eat and drink, on average and over time, to help prevent disease and keep people healthy.

If you’re interested in attending the DGA meeting in-person in Washington, DC or online via webcast, please visit for event registration details. The deadline to register for the in-person meeting is Tuesday, March 26 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

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