This law requires a license to provide nutrition care, and only dietitians and certain nutritionists can apply for and be granted that license. The defines “dietetics and nutrition services” as providing nutrition advice, assistance, assessment, education, or counseling, as a component of preventive or maintenance or restorative care.
Without a license, you cannot customize a nutrition plan or regime for anyone, nor can you provide encouragement for the plan that someone else came up with, even if it’s a dietician.
What you CAN do (as defined in section 225 ILCS 30/20 which is the exemptions) is provide general nutrition information and encouragement of general healthy eating choices.
You CAN conduct classes and seminars, as well as give speeches, so long as you make it clear you are not a licensed dietitian or nutritionist. You can also provide weight control services so long as you’re under the supervision of a dietitian.
Under this law you cannot advertise or be perceived as “assessing nutritional needs of individuals and groups” etc. You also cannot do or say anything that would give the impression that you are licensed, registered, or call yourself a nutritionist or dietitian.
The Act does not prohibit any person from providing free information, from holding a class or seminar, or from giving a speech related to nutrition.
The law does not restrict any person (including a licensed acupuncturist) from providing oral nutrition information as an operator or employee at a health food store or similar business. It also does not restrict a person from providing written nutrition information with the marketing or distribution of those products. 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 a general program for weight control without a license if it is reviewed by, consultation is available from, and no change to the program can be initiated without approval of a licensed or registered dietitian.
If you are pursuing a degree in dietetics, nutrition, or an equivalent major from a regionally accredited school or program, you can practice dietetic 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 an educator 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