JLF Triangle Blog

Will The State Board Of Nutrition Come After You And Me Next?

Sara Burrows provides an update today on the incredible power held by the North Carolina Board of Nutrition/Dietetics, which goes after North Carolinians who give specific nutrition advice to people with medical conditions, and do so without having a state license. Turns out the board has investigated 50 people over the past five years for what it deems practicing without a  license. I suggest you read the following guidelines and then ask yourself when the board will come after you. Based on these outrageously broad terms, I cannot advise the member of my family who is diabetic on what to eat and what to avoid.

According to the Dietetics Board’s director Charla Burill, it’s a fine line between what kind of advice about nutrition an unlicensed person is free to give. 

Anyone can make a statement about what people in general should eat, she said in a telephone interview in April. What you can’t do is tell an individual or group of people what they should eat based on a specific health condition they are experiencing. 

For example, if someone has diabetes, an unlicensed person could not tell him to eat less sugar. If someone wanted to lose weight, an unlicensed person could not tell her to eat fewer carbohydrates. That, according to the board, is dietary “assessing and counseling,” a practice reserved for licensed professionals. 

Ridiculous. And it’s your government at work.

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