On June 25th, 2018 Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina signed into law H.B. 357. This law creates additional exemption for non-licensed practitioner that provide nutrition and wellness advice.
The new exemption states that NC dietetics regulation do not apply to:
“Any individual who provides nutrition information, guidance, encouragement, individualized nutrition recommendations, or weight control services that do not constitute medical nutrition therapy….” as defined in the law so long as the individual “..does not hold himself or herself out as a licensed dietitian/nutritionist or a licensed nutritionist” and does not seek to provide medical nutrition therapy….”
New exemption language allows holistic practitioners to perform significant nutrition and wellness services.
To be exempt from licensure, holistic practitioners shall not practice “medical nutrition therapy” which is defined as:
“The provision of nutrition care services for the purpose of managing or treating a medical condition.”
As a practical matter, holistic practitioners should never attempt, advertise, or give the impression that they can diagnose, treat, or cure a disease. Furthermore, they should make it clear in their disclosure statements, client consultations, advertising and marketing, and website that their services are not for the purpose of providing medical nutrition therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
If a client has a previously diagnosed medical condition, can I still work with them?
Generally yes, but practitioners should make it clear in both verbal and writing disclosures and agreements with the client that the purpose of your interaction and services are not to provide medical nutrition therapy, and you will not attempt to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.
Can I practice via the internet?
Yes. The new law defines Telepractice as “The delivery of services under this Article by means other than in-person, including by telephone, e-mail, Internet, or other methods of electronic communication.” Further it states:
“Telepractice” as defined in the new law “is not prohibited … so long as (i) it is appropriate for the individual receiving the services and (ii) the level of care provided meets the required level of care for that individual. An individual providing services regulated by this
Article via telepractice shall comply with, and shall be subject to, all the licensing and disciplinary provisions of this Article.”
Providing nutrition advice via telepractice is not prohibited so long as you are not providing or giving the impression that you provide medical nutrition therapy, or in using certain protected titles.
Can I call myself a holistic nutritionist? What about a certified holistic nutritionist?
The use of the title “nutritionist” is prohibited, and care must be given in your marketing, website, and promotional materials that you do not give the impression that you are a nutritionist, or that you are licensed or otherwise certified by the state. If you have a board certification, for example NANP, you could say that you are “NANP Certified in Holistic Nutrition.” If you are an NTP, for example, you could call yourself a “Nutritional Therapist” or say that you are a Specialist in Holistic Nutrition. It is only the title “nutritionist” or “dietitian” that are restricted.