Be Careful Recommending Your Own Diet Without a License

Via Brian Doherty comes this report of how a blogger got in trouble North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition for a website that explains how he came to love the paleo diet.  Because he answered readers’ questions and recommended the paleo diet the Board determined he was “practicing nutrition” without a state license, despite the existence of disclaimers on every page.

this past January the state diatetics and nutrition board decided Cooksey’s blog — Diabetes-Warrior.net — violated state law. The nutritional advice Cooksey provides on the site amounts to “practicing nutrition,” the board’s director says, and in North Carolina that’s something you need a license to do.

Unless Cooksey completely rewrites his 3-year-old blog, he could be sued by the licensing board. If he loses the lawsuit and refuses to take down the blog, he could face up to 120 days in jail.

The board’s director says Cooksey has a First Amendment right to blog about his diet, but he can’t encourage others to adopt it unless the state has certified him as a dietitian or nutritionist.