This law requires a license to provide medical nutrition therapy. Only dietitians and certain nutritionists can apply for and be granted that license. However, as of 2022, state law increased exemptions allowing holistic practitioners to work with greater clarity and fewer restrictions.
As of 2022, the state now allows anyone without a license to provide: “general nonmedical nutrition information, nutrition recommendations for prevention and wellness, health coaching, holistic and wellness education, guidance, motivation, behavior change management, nonmedical weight control, or other nutrition care services provided that any such services..” – so long as they do not attempt to practice Medical Nutrition Therapy, or use a protected title.
The law does not restrict providing nutrition information as an operator or employee at a health food store or similar business. This information can include:
- Explanations of federally regulated label claims
- Any known drug-nutrient interactions
- Role of in various diets
- Suggestions of how to combine products
You may also provide weight control services that are “overseen” by a healthcare professional.
If you are pursuing a degree in dietetics, nutrition, or an equivalent major from a regionally accredited school or program, you can practice dietetics and nutrition services if the services constitute a part of the supervised course of study. If you do partake in practices, you must be designated by a “student” or “trainee” title.
You may provide nutrition and dietetic therapy without a license if you are employed by any department, agency, or division of state, county, or local government. You may also provide these services if you are employed by a nonprofit organization, federal, state, county, or municipal agency, an elementary or secondary school, or a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
Furthermore, a trained dietary technical support person working in a hospital setting or regulated Department of Public Health or Department on Aging facility or program can practice dietetics if supervised by a licensed dietitian nutritionist.
If you are employed as Cooperative Extension home economists you may practice dietetics and nutrition services without a license. This exemption is specific to those who work for, or with, local, county, and state Cooperative Extension Services.
If you are an employee of a nursing facility for those relying upon spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with the tenets and practices of a church or religious denomination, you are exempt from the law.
Source: 225 ILCS 30