On Wednesday, December 11th, 69 Members of Congress urged the secretaries of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to take the necessary steps to add a symbol for water to the MyPlate nutritional graphic.
The MyPlate graphic is the primary tool used to educate Americans about nutrition and is ubiquitous in school and childcare cafeterias, classrooms and beyond. But it’s missing one essential element of a healthy diet: WATER!
The letter highlighted the vital role water plays for Americans of all ages, especially for very young children. The 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (currently under development) will, for the first time, provide guidelines for children from birth through 24 months.
Recently released consensus recommendations from a group of leading national organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association stress the importance of water, along with milk, as a beverage of choice for young children.
Public health professionals and advocates recognize the value to health in making water a primary beverage of choice in place of sugary drinks.
More than 48 other countries promote water consumption on their nutrition guidance graphics. The Representatives urged USDA and HHS to take this necessary step to add water to MyPlate.
Thirty-two Republicans and thirty-seven Democrats signed the letter. View the full letter here.