This law provides for the licensure of dietitians, and only those with a license may “practice dietetics” as defined here. Assessing nutritional needs, and offering nutrition counseling as part of a health care plan are components of the licensed act of practicing dietetics. The law also restricts the use of the title “dietitian.”
State regulations do contain a number of exemptions:
You may provide a general program for weight control, so as long as one does not refer to themselves as a “dietitian”.
You can market or distribute food, food materials, or dietary supplements and further explain how to use or to prepare those products. You may also freely distribute literature related to nutrition. If you sell dietary supplements, you are allowed to supply the following statements about the product if the statements are consistent with the supplement’s label:
- Claim a benefit related to a classical nutrient deficiency disease and disclose the prevalence of the disease in the United States;
- Describe the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient intended to affect the structure or function of the human body;
- Characterize the documented mechanism by which a nutrient or dietary ingredient acts to maintain the structure or function of the human body;
- Describe general well-being from the consumption of a nutrient or dietary ingredient.
If you are practicing dietetics or providing nutrition services as a duty of serving in the armed forces, veteran’s administration, or public health services, you are exempt from licensure requirements.
You are exempt from the licensure laws provided you work under the direction and supervision of a licensed dietitian or other licensed health care provider. This also includes those working as a dietetic technician and those completing a program of dietetics and nutrition at an approved school, college, or university.
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 a nutritional educator employed by a:
- Federal, state, county or municipal agency
- Another political subdivision
- Elementary or secondary school
- Accredited institution of higher education
- Nonprofit organization approved by the board
Source: Title 47, Chapter 4759