On March 9, 2020, nearly 60 retired admirals and generals who are members of Mission: Readiness submitted comments to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. These comments focused on the importance of prioritizing water consumption in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and how promoting healthy options for young people is critical to national security.
Currently 72 percent of young people in the United States are ineligible to serve in the military. Obesity is among the leading medical disqualifiers, with one in three young people being too overweight or obese to serve. The retired admirals and generals of Mission: Readiness are committed to promoting programs that help young people get off to a healthy start in life, so that they can succeed in the military or at whatever they choose.
The comments recommend that the Committee specifically highlight the importance of prioritizing water as a beverage of choice as a way to reduce youth consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugar in the American diet, and can cause significant adverse health effects. As such, it is critical that individuals of all ages are encouraged to make the healthy decision to consume more water.
The members of Mission: Readiness also called on the Committee to support drinking water access and education, and for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services to develop a water symbol for the MyPlate graphic. Nearly 50 countries have already worked to include a water symbol in their dietary guidelines graphic, and it is time for the United States to follow suit.
You can read the full comments submitted by the retired admirals and generals by clicking here. Mission: Readiness is a nonpartisan national security organization of over 750 retired admirals and generals who support research-based investments in programs that keep kids in school, in shape, and out of trouble. Mission: Readiness has members in all 50 states.
Note: The ongoing period for public comments to the Committee, which opened in March 2019, will now close on June 10, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST (five weeks later than the original date of May 1, 2020).