This law licenses dietitians and nutritionists, and allows only someone with a license to provide most forms of nutrition care.
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.
However, you are not prohibited, as an individual, to provide nonmedical nutritional information or nutritional literature. “Nonmedical nutrition” means the application of basic principles of nutrition to food selection for the purpose of maintaining health. (Code of Maryland Regulations, Sec. 10.56.01.02.)
If you are employed by certain programs or businesses, you are not restricted from providing services and information related to non-medical nutrition. This includes if you are:
- Employed by or operating a health, weight loss, or fitness program
- Employed by or operating a health food store
- Employed by or operating a business that sells health products, dietary supplements, or nutritional literature or provides nonmedical nutrition information
- Conducting classes or providing information related to non-medical nutrition
You can also provide services related to the purchasing, preparation, and service of food to groups of people.
The law defines medical nutrition as “the nutritional advice or counsel provided to an individual by a licensee in their professional capacity that is designed for an individual to alleviate a specific physiological complaint, condition, or symptom.”
Source: Maryland Health Occupations Code Ann. § 5-101 et. sequitur with the exemptions found in section 5-103.