Home > Uncategorized > Dispensing Advice Without a Licence

Dispensing Advice Without a Licence

Agrigirl catches the State of North Carolina threatening a food writer with legal action for promoting his fad diet of choice.

Apparently the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition has informed Steve that he is unable to give readers advice on diet, whether free or for compensation, because in doing so he is conducting the unlicensed, and therefore criminal, practice of dietetics. The North Carolina Board went on to tell Steve that even his private emails and telephone calls with readers and friends are illegal, as is his fee-based coaching. Steve was left with a red-lined document letting him know what he can and cannot say without a government-issued license from the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition.

This sounds almost comically over the line. While I have no love for people trying to profit off the latest fitness trends, this is almost the definition of a slippery slope. What is next, are not going to be allowed to discuss nutrition with friends or coworkers for fear that someone is part of a secret Diet Police? Will parents be banned from teaching their children how to cook, for fear they may use hydrogenated fats?

Nutrition is important, and it’s complicated and hard to get right. Looking back, I wish that my parents had been stricter about the foods we ate. I was well into my 20s before I learned to eat right and settled at a fairly healthy weight. I understand the government’s impulse to keep the quacks at bay. But food is too much a part of everyday life. It fills our Instagrams and forges friendships. And, not to put too fine a point on it, it gives bloggers something to ramble on about. There are ways to encourage healthy eating that are better than trying to control who talks about food. This is America, damnit. We all talk about food.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks for the shout out. If he was trying to act like a doctor, that’s one thing but it is a slippery slope. I can’t imagine how many things i’ve shared that would be prevented by this type of regulation.

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