Dietitians Go After A Blogger

      113 Comments on Dietitians Go After A Blogger

This topic generated what was probably a record number of comments in the Fat Head Facebook group awhile back, so I thought it was old news.  Apparently not, since several readers sent me links to a news article this week:

State Threatens to Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is threatening to send a blogger to jail for recounting publicly his battle against diabetes and encouraging others to follow his lifestyle.

Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to “practice dietetics or nutrition” without a license. According to the law, “practicing” nutrition includes “assessing the nutritional needs of individuals and groups” and “providing nutrition counseling.”

Steve Cooksey has learned that the definition, at least in the eyes of the state board, is expansive.

Cooksey, who was hospitalized in 2009 for complications of diabetes, created his Diabetes Warrior blog after a low-carb paleo diet proved so effective, he was able to stop taking insulin and other drugs.  In other words, he did what a lot of us have done:  after discovering a diet that worked, he decided to share the good news online.  That’s the Wisdom of Crowds at work.  Bloggers like Cooksey have probably saved more lives than all the dietitians in the country combined.

That’s exactly the problem, of course.  As I recounted in my Crisis in Nutrition speech, more and more people are turning away from doctors, nutritionists and dietitians and seeking information on the internet because they’re tired of following advice that doesn’t work.  The nutritionists and dietitians don’t like the competition.  So at least in this case, they’re trotting out ridiculous licensing laws in hopes of keeping their monopoly.  As I wrote in a recent post, that’s often the true purpose of licensing laws:  stifling competition.

The article doesn’t say who exactly decided to go after Cooksey, but it does provide us with enough information to make an educated guess:

Jan. 12, Cooksey attended a nutrition seminar at a church in Charlotte. The speaker was the director of diabetes services for a local hospital.

“She was giving all the wrong information, just like everyone always does — carbs are OK to eat, we must eat carbs to live, promoting low-fat, etc.,” Cooksey said. “So I spoke up.”

After the meeting he handed out a couple of business cards pointing people to his website. Three days later, he got a call from the director of the nutrition board.

“Basically, she told me I could not give out nutritional advice without a license,” Cooksey said.

Now why is that, exactly?  Cooksey hasn’t claimed he’s a doctor or claimed he holds degrees he doesn’t.  Far from it, in fact:

Cooksey posts the following disclaimer at the bottom of every page on his website:

“I am not a doctor, dietitian, nor nutritionist … in fact I have no medical training of any kind.”

That means the people who seek his advice know exactly what he is – and what he isn’t.

[Board director Charla] Burill said the disclaimer may not protect a nutrition blogger from the law.

“If I’ve given you reason to not worry that I don’t have a license because I have all these other reasons I’m an expert, you could still harm the public,” she said.

And what harm would that be, Ms. Burill?  How exactly are diabetics going to be harmed by following Cooksey’s advice and restricting carbohydrates?  The only potential harm here will be to the bank accounts of dietitians, who may find there are fewer people willing to pay them to be harmed by their crappy advice.

I’ve seen plenty of books in bookstores that offer nutrition advice, but weren’t written by people with degrees or licenses.  If any of those authors live in North Carolina, will the state’s dietetics and nutrition board be going after them next?  Are those of us who don’t live in North Carolina going to be threatened with fines or jail, since we have readers in North Carolina?

Burill told Carolina Journal she could not discuss the details of Cooksey’s case because his website is still under investigation, but agreed to talk about the law in the hypothetical.

It’s not necessarily against the law to give your sister or your friend nutritional advice, she said.

Not necessarily against the law?  You mean it could be?

And it’s not necessarily against the law to use a blog to tell people what they should eat.

Where it crosses the line, Burill said, is when a blogger “advertises himself as an expert” and “takes information from someone such that he’s performing some sort of assessment and then giving it back with some sort of plan or diet.”

So you can give advice to your friend or sister … well, what about a co-worker?  A co-worker of mine recently asked me for advice about his diet because his triglycerides are way too high and the low-fat diet he was advised to follow isn’t helping.  (Duh.)  He gave me a copy of his lab report and a list of his typical meals.  I’d say that means I performed an assessment. If we were in North Carolina, could I get around the law by declaring that I consider the co-worker a friend?  Would we need to submit pictures of ourselves having drinks together after work to prove we’re friends?

That’s how ridiculous these issues can become.

It’s a fine line between what’s legal and what’s not when it comes to talking about nutrition.

“Anyone can talk about anything they want,” Burill said. “That’s a First Amendment right, so to speak.”

So to speak?

For example, a person could write a blog advocating vegetarianism, she said.

I’ve heard that could happen.

“Now if you advertised that you’d taken classes in nutrition, you’ve worked at [the federal government’s Food and Nutrition Service] for three years, and you say ‘I believe everyone should be a vegetarian, and I’m here to help you if you want to change your diet’ [that could be crossing the line],” Burill said.

No, you flippin’ idiot, the “crossing the line” part would be advertising that you’ve taken nutrition classes or worked for a federal agency if you haven’t.  That’s called fraud.  Prosecuting fraud is a legitimate function of government.  Prosecuting people for stating their opinions about what constitutes a good diet isn’t.

“A vegetarian diet would be a little bit harder [to prosecute] because a vegetarian is not really like a medical diet.”

True, a vegetarian is not really like a medical diet.  A vegetarian is more like a person who doesn’t eat meat.  But plenty of vegetarians write online about the wonders their diet has done for their health, and plenty of them offer advice too.  What the @#$% is the difference?

Declan McCullagh, a CBSNews.com correspondent who writes about online free speech, says the board probably is violating Cooksey’s First Amendment rights.

“In general, I think that as long as someone is very clear that they’re not a licensed dietician, state officials can probably find better uses of their time,” he said.

You’re right about the First Amendment, Mr. McCullagh.  But as for state officials finding better use for their time … naw, I don’t think so.  This is exactly the kind of petty nonsense they live for.  To make better use of their time, they’d have to leave government and get a real job.


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113 thoughts on “Dietitians Go After A Blogger

  1. Firebird7478

    “I’ve seen plenty of books in bookstores that offer nutrition advice, but weren’t written by people with degrees or licenses.”

    Shall we start with Suzanne Somers? Also, they say vegetarian diets are not medical diets. If that is the case, then why are doctors and nutritionists recommending their patients/clients follow one?

    Bingo. I’ve seen plenty of vegetarians recommending meatless diets as a cure for health issues.

    Reply
  2. Heal Thyself

    North Carolina General Statute § 90-368: allows individuals to “furnish nutrition information on food, food materials, or dietary supplements” (section 9) and to “furnish nonfraudulent specific nutritional information and counseling about the reported or historical use of herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, sugars, enzymes, food concentrates, or other foods” (section 10).

    Steve Cooksey has not claimed to be a dietician, or a nutritionist. Nor has he used any state licensed credentials.

    § 90-368. Persons and practices not affected. (scroll down) http://www.ncbdn.org/laws_rules/statute/

    We have created a Change.org Petition to support Steve: https://www.change.org/petitions/protect-your-access-to-health-and-nutrition-information.

    Plenty of people charge for health support, including chefs, health coaches, personal trainers, lifestyle coaches.

    Pat

    Exactly. They went after him because he pissed off some idiot dietitian.

    Reply
  3. TheFatNurseRN

    Hmmm, I wonder what would have happened if he had gotten a license and then started giving out his contradictory advice? As a healthcare professional myself, I too was taught to cut saturated fat to less than 7% and that carbs (along with monounsaturated) should compose 70% of the rest of the diet for diabetics in my textbooks.

    Tom, I am guessing you’ve interacted with a variety of doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and etc over the years about saturated fat and carbohydrates. What has been their reaction? Are a lot of them open to the idea of recommending patients to not worry about saturated fat, cholesterol intake and etc?

    – TheFatNurse

    I actually haven’t. I avoid doctors and nutritionists as much as possible. We’ve lived in Tennessee for 2 1/2 years and my only visits to a doctor were for a colonoscopy and to check on a shoulder injury.

    Reply
  4. David

    I did read about his testimony on deliciously-thin and I think he is right for what he is telling people. Clearly the state government is probably trying to jail and fine him, so that there is more revenue from another “law-breaker.”

    Reply
  5. Janknitz

    “I charge a fee for programming services. I have no official credentials, no certifications, no degrees, nothing. And yet companies happily pay for my self-taught expertise. This is equivalent to the programmers with degrees getting together, forming an association, lobbying the state, and getting a requirement written into law that only people with official credentials can program computers — to protect the public, doncha know.”

    Now come on, while licensure laws protect people in the profession, they are meant to protect the public! Programmers may try to get a licensure law passed, but they probably won’t succeed without convincing the legislature that there is a compelling public interest at stake beyond the economic protection of programmers.

    The law does not permit an unlicensed individual to charge to give medical advice just because they happen to have a disclaimer that says they are not a doctor or health care provider. The law does not permit someone to pilot a plane as long as they give the passengers a disclaimer that they are not a licensed pilot. In my state, you can’t give a manicure and charge for it without a license. The law in NC prohibits unlicensed individuals from giving dietary advice, and Steve has flaunted that law. He’s not merely blogging about his experiences and opinions, he’s charging people to advise them on dietary issues–the law prohibits that. Most licensure laws are upheld by the courts because they are not impediments to free speech in that they deal with compelling public interests and they are seens as reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.

    If we think a law is wrong or unfair, then we need to fight the law, but we are not allowed to pick and choose to obey only the laws we agree with. It doesn’t work that way. If it did, there would be anarchy.

    Personally, I agree that they are persecuting Steve for his content (and I agree 100% with his opinions), but his flagrant violation of the licensure law is giving them a very handy peg to hang their hats on. If this goes to court, the CONTENT of Steve’s advice will never be an issue that can be argued, because they are not charging him with giving bad advice.

    This is not an Annika Dahlquist scenario. As a licensed physician, Annika Dahlquist was perfectly within her rights to advise her patients about how nutrition affected her health, and the argument the dieticians in Sweden made was about the CONTENT–they argued that Dr. Dahlquist’s advice was bad and harmful to patients. That was a great case, because it allowed Dr. Dahlquist to use the facts to demonstrate, in a court of law, that a low carb, high fat dietary approach was beneficial.

    Here, content is not the issue (as much as we would like to make it so). If we have any fantasies of making this a seminal case against dieticians for the lousy conventional advice they hand out, it’s not going to happen, because the issue at stake, as they have charged him, is the violation of the licensure law, not the content of the advice Steve is giving.

    We all need to be vigilant and fight the good fight, as people Colorado did, to keep similar laws off the books in our own states. But if our state has such a law and we choose to violate it to make a point, then we have to live with the consequences.

    If people want to fly on a plane with a pilot who isn’t licensed and lets them know he isn’t licensed, they should be free to do so. I can’t imagine anyone who would.

    How does your state’s law requiring a license to give a manicure protect the public? What harm is this law preventing?

    One of the systems I built at Disney calculates how much musicians should be paid for all the Disney/ABC shows that require recording sessions and then how much they should be paid again if music is used on a soundtrack album. The rules and calculations are extremely complex. Another part of the system calculates payments when Disney/ABC uses existing music in a show. The work I’m doing now at BMI involves making sure songwriters are paid when they’re music is used. Literally millions of dollars per year in payments are at stake.

    So the certified programmers could make the case that my lack of credentials means I’m potentially causing economic harm to musicians and songwriters by writing bad code.

    Anarchy is the total absence of government. Government’s legitimate function is protect people from violence and fraud and to adjudicate disputes. If government fulfills that role, we don’t have anarchy. We have people engaging in voluntary transactions.

    So yes, we should fight laws that prevent adults in a supposedly free country from engaging in voluntary transactions where there’s no fraud involved. We should fight by disobeying, then going to court if need be. Trying to get legislatures to ignore the lobbyists and overturn these idiotic laws will be a waste of time.

    Reply
  6. Galina L.

    According to the article in Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelellsberg/2012/04/05/american-dietetic-association, ADA may get you, your site and movie soon despite you living in a different state than South Carolina (or you will have a choice to pay $10000 a day). Official Dietitians are getting really serious about fighting a competition. All of care for the safety of public, of course.

    If they send me cease and desist orders, I’ll ignore them. If they send a notice of fines, I’ll tear them up. If they show up at my door, they better be packing.

    Reply
  7. Dave, RN

    “But plenty of vegetarians write online about the wonders their diet has done for their health, and plenty of them offer advice too. What the @#$% is the difference?”

    I’ll tell you the difference. Being a vegetarian is politically correct. Eating paleo isn’t. It all goes back to our government telling us to eat a “plant based diet”. We all know if that guy was promoting the food pyramid, there would be no issues. It’s not a matter of being unlicensed. It’s a matter of preaching against what the government recommends.

    My thoughts exactly.

    Reply
  8. Linda

    “If that is the case, then why are doctors and nutritionists recommending their patients/clients follow one?” [Vegetarian Diet]

    Exactly!
    After my angiogram and stent placement last year, I was told I had to listen to a nutritionist prior to being released. When he walked into my room and started in with the vegetarian diet recommendations, I was aghast, told him there was no way I was going to follow his advice, that I was going to continue eating LC regardless. He, of course, told me I was making a foolish decision, yada, yada, and I pretty much turned him off until he walked back out.

    But of course, he had a license.

    Reply
  9. KC

    I wonder what would happen if people who followed the standard advice from a licensed dietitian and didn’t get better started filing complaints with the licensing board? Of course the answer is they wouldn’t follow through with a few such complaints but maybe if enough people started filing complaints. Naaa what makes me thing that a government board could be made to see the truth no matter how many times they are hit over the head with it.

    They’d say it’s a progressive disease and just the way it goes.

    Reply
  10. Peggy Cihocki

    “I don’t much care for how it was resolved. If people want to pay him for advice even though he makes it clear he doesn’t have a (worthless) degree, it’s none of the state’s business.” I agree. Unlicensed people peddle their advice all over the place. If it’s bad advice, people will find out and stop going to them. As long as people know the credentials of the person peddling, it shouldn’t make any difference whether or not they have them. Steve wasn’t forcing people to buy his services.

    Bingo.

    Reply
  11. Heal Thyself

    North Carolina General Statute § 90-368: allows individuals to “furnish nutrition information on food, food materials, or dietary supplements” (section 9) and to “furnish nonfraudulent specific nutritional information and counseling about the reported or historical use of herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, sugars, enzymes, food concentrates, or other foods” (section 10).

    Steve Cooksey has not claimed to be a dietician, or a nutritionist. Nor has he used any state licensed credentials.

    § 90-368. Persons and practices not affected. (scroll down) http://www.ncbdn.org/laws_rules/statute/

    We have created a Change.org Petition to support Steve: https://www.change.org/petitions/protect-your-access-to-health-and-nutrition-information.

    Plenty of people charge for health support, including chefs, health coaches, personal trainers, lifestyle coaches.

    Pat

    Exactly. They went after him because he pissed off some idiot dietitian.

    Reply
  12. TheFatNurseRN

    Hmmm, I wonder what would have happened if he had gotten a license and then started giving out his contradictory advice? As a healthcare professional myself, I too was taught to cut saturated fat to less than 7% and that carbs (along with monounsaturated) should compose 70% of the rest of the diet for diabetics in my textbooks.

    Tom, I am guessing you’ve interacted with a variety of doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and etc over the years about saturated fat and carbohydrates. What has been their reaction? Are a lot of them open to the idea of recommending patients to not worry about saturated fat, cholesterol intake and etc?

    – TheFatNurse

    I actually haven’t. I avoid doctors and nutritionists as much as possible. We’ve lived in Tennessee for 2 1/2 years and my only visits to a doctor were for a colonoscopy and to check on a shoulder injury.

    Reply
  13. David

    I did read about his testimony on deliciously-thin and I think he is right for what he is telling people. Clearly the state government is probably trying to jail and fine him, so that there is more revenue from another “law-breaker.”

    Reply
  14. Janknitz

    “I charge a fee for programming services. I have no official credentials, no certifications, no degrees, nothing. And yet companies happily pay for my self-taught expertise. This is equivalent to the programmers with degrees getting together, forming an association, lobbying the state, and getting a requirement written into law that only people with official credentials can program computers — to protect the public, doncha know.”

    Now come on, while licensure laws protect people in the profession, they are meant to protect the public! Programmers may try to get a licensure law passed, but they probably won’t succeed without convincing the legislature that there is a compelling public interest at stake beyond the economic protection of programmers.

    The law does not permit an unlicensed individual to charge to give medical advice just because they happen to have a disclaimer that says they are not a doctor or health care provider. The law does not permit someone to pilot a plane as long as they give the passengers a disclaimer that they are not a licensed pilot. In my state, you can’t give a manicure and charge for it without a license. The law in NC prohibits unlicensed individuals from giving dietary advice, and Steve has flaunted that law. He’s not merely blogging about his experiences and opinions, he’s charging people to advise them on dietary issues–the law prohibits that. Most licensure laws are upheld by the courts because they are not impediments to free speech in that they deal with compelling public interests and they are seens as reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.

    If we think a law is wrong or unfair, then we need to fight the law, but we are not allowed to pick and choose to obey only the laws we agree with. It doesn’t work that way. If it did, there would be anarchy.

    Personally, I agree that they are persecuting Steve for his content (and I agree 100% with his opinions), but his flagrant violation of the licensure law is giving them a very handy peg to hang their hats on. If this goes to court, the CONTENT of Steve’s advice will never be an issue that can be argued, because they are not charging him with giving bad advice.

    This is not an Annika Dahlquist scenario. As a licensed physician, Annika Dahlquist was perfectly within her rights to advise her patients about how nutrition affected her health, and the argument the dieticians in Sweden made was about the CONTENT–they argued that Dr. Dahlquist’s advice was bad and harmful to patients. That was a great case, because it allowed Dr. Dahlquist to use the facts to demonstrate, in a court of law, that a low carb, high fat dietary approach was beneficial.

    Here, content is not the issue (as much as we would like to make it so). If we have any fantasies of making this a seminal case against dieticians for the lousy conventional advice they hand out, it’s not going to happen, because the issue at stake, as they have charged him, is the violation of the licensure law, not the content of the advice Steve is giving.

    We all need to be vigilant and fight the good fight, as people Colorado did, to keep similar laws off the books in our own states. But if our state has such a law and we choose to violate it to make a point, then we have to live with the consequences.

    If people want to fly on a plane with a pilot who isn’t licensed and lets them know he isn’t licensed, they should be free to do so. I can’t imagine anyone who would.

    How does your state’s law requiring a license to give a manicure protect the public? What harm is this law preventing?

    One of the systems I built at Disney calculates how much musicians should be paid for all the Disney/ABC shows that require recording sessions and then how much they should be paid again if music is used on a soundtrack album. The rules and calculations are extremely complex. Another part of the system calculates payments when Disney/ABC uses existing music in a show. The work I’m doing now at BMI involves making sure songwriters are paid when they’re music is used. Literally millions of dollars per year in payments are at stake.

    So the certified programmers could make the case that my lack of credentials means I’m potentially causing economic harm to musicians and songwriters by writing bad code.

    Anarchy is the total absence of government. Government’s legitimate function is protect people from violence and fraud and to adjudicate disputes. If government fulfills that role, we don’t have anarchy. We have people engaging in voluntary transactions.

    So yes, we should fight laws that prevent adults in a supposedly free country from engaging in voluntary transactions where there’s no fraud involved. We should fight by disobeying, then going to court if need be. Trying to get legislatures to ignore the lobbyists and overturn these idiotic laws will be a waste of time.

    Reply
  15. KC

    I wonder what would happen if people who followed the standard advice from a licensed dietitian and didn’t get better started filing complaints with the licensing board? Of course the answer is they wouldn’t follow through with a few such complaints but maybe if enough people started filing complaints. Naaa what makes me thing that a government board could be made to see the truth no matter how many times they are hit over the head with it.

    They’d say it’s a progressive disease and just the way it goes.

    Reply
  16. Scott

    As a T2 Diabetic this nonsense enrages me, My blood sugar and health is improving thanks to LCHF. I have a friend who was just diagnosed with it as well and what do you think the geniuses at the hospital told him to eat, up to five serving of carbs at a meal and take two pills of some kind and if that wasn’t bad enough they didn’t even give him a blood glucose monitor, I guess they want him to use his own money if he wants to see the damage their dietary advice is doing to him.

    That’s the stellar record of treatment they want to protect with a monopoly.

    Reply
  17. Scott

    As a T2 Diabetic this nonsense enrages me, My blood sugar and health is improving thanks to LCHF. I have a friend who was just diagnosed with it as well and what do you think the geniuses at the hospital told him to eat, up to five serving of carbs at a meal and take two pills of some kind and if that wasn’t bad enough they didn’t even give him a blood glucose monitor, I guess they want him to use his own money if he wants to see the damage their dietary advice is doing to him.

    That’s the stellar record of treatment they want to protect with a monopoly.

    Reply
  18. NM

    “If people want to fly on a plane with a pilot who isn’t licensed and lets them know he isn’t licensed, they should be free to do so. I can’t imagine anyone who would.”

    This is where Utopian libertarianism fails, I feel. What about the “choice” of those into whose houses the incompetent, untrained pilot crashes? Whenever I’m feeling the refreshing winds of Libertarian idealism, another read of Hobbes’ Leviathan brings me back to earth.

    Then the incompetent, untrained pilot should be held liable, same as a licensed driver who causes a crash. I seriously doubt there are people who don’t know how to fly a plane who decide to just take one for a spin and see what happens.

    It’s not a good analogy anyway. The people who pay Cooksey for advice aren’t going to inadvertently harm others if his advice fails.

    Reply
  19. labrat

    On a related note. If you follow their bad advice and you fail, they will blame you and punish you.

    http://news.yahoo.com/hungary-punish-diabetics-dont-stick-diet-191425391.html

    I’ve told this story before. Years ago a friend of mine who was an uncontrolled Type1 diabetic went all the way to Boston for an evaluation to see if the world renowned Joslin Diabetes Center could help her. After a week as an inpatient undergoing their tests, treatments and diet their conclusion? She MUST be cheating!!!

    Head. Bang. On. Desk.

    Reply
  20. NM

    “If people want to fly on a plane with a pilot who isn’t licensed and lets them know he isn’t licensed, they should be free to do so. I can’t imagine anyone who would.”

    This is where Utopian libertarianism fails, I feel. What about the “choice” of those into whose houses the incompetent, untrained pilot crashes? Whenever I’m feeling the refreshing winds of Libertarian idealism, another read of Hobbes’ Leviathan brings me back to earth.

    Then the incompetent, untrained pilot should be held liable, same as a licensed driver who causes a crash. I seriously doubt there are people who don’t know how to fly a plane who decide to just take one for a spin and see what happens.

    It’s not a good analogy anyway. The people who pay Cooksey for advice aren’t going to inadvertently harm others if his advice fails.

    Reply
  21. Jason

    They’d better make sure all the dads out there don’t help their kids with their homework – they aren’t licensed teachers.

    They’d better monitor the gyms and be sure nobody gives workout advice – they aren’t licensed trainers.

    They’d better throw me in jail after I cut my own hair – I’m not a licensed barber.

    What silliness.

    Holy crap, I cut my own hair. I may have to turn myself in.

    Reply
  22. labrat

    On a related note. If you follow their bad advice and you fail, they will blame you and punish you.

    http://news.yahoo.com/hungary-punish-diabetics-dont-stick-diet-191425391.html

    I’ve told this story before. Years ago a friend of mine who was an uncontrolled Type1 diabetic went all the way to Boston for an evaluation to see if the world renowned Joslin Diabetes Center could help her. After a week as an inpatient undergoing their tests, treatments and diet their conclusion? She MUST be cheating!!!

    Head. Bang. On. Desk.

    Reply
  23. Lori

    Re: availing yourself of the services of someone with no official credentials. There are people who will believe anything, and people who will doubt anything. But I think the majority of people would be more skeptical, ask more questions, and want to see more evidence from someone with no initials after his name than they would if they were dealing with an MD, RD or RN.

    IME, people who know how and why something works are eager to explain it and unlikely to pull rank. In other words, the white coat effect goes away. So for the moderately skeptical people, having knowledgeable but uncredentialed people available to consult is a good thing.

    Reply
  24. Katy

    My eleven yr. old daughter earned money one summer walking neighborhood dogs and giving them food/water while their owners were at work. She had no certificate to verify her expertise is caring for animals, so I guess we should have been on the lookout for a lawsuit from area kennels.

    Wait until the certified dog-walkers hear about this.

    Reply
  25. Jason

    They’d better make sure all the dads out there don’t help their kids with their homework – they aren’t licensed teachers.

    They’d better monitor the gyms and be sure nobody gives workout advice – they aren’t licensed trainers.

    They’d better throw me in jail after I cut my own hair – I’m not a licensed barber.

    What silliness.

    Holy crap, I cut my own hair. I may have to turn myself in.

    Reply
  26. Lori

    Re: availing yourself of the services of someone with no official credentials. There are people who will believe anything, and people who will doubt anything. But I think the majority of people would be more skeptical, ask more questions, and want to see more evidence from someone with no initials after his name than they would if they were dealing with an MD, RD or RN.

    IME, people who know how and why something works are eager to explain it and unlikely to pull rank. In other words, the white coat effect goes away. So for the moderately skeptical people, having knowledgeable but uncredentialed people available to consult is a good thing.

    Reply
  27. dlm

    CNN had a bit yesterday about brides-to-be losing 10 lbs in 20 days by using a feed tube through the nose, ingesting only *protein and fat*. May make someone wonder, how about feeding the mouth with protein and fat and see what happens. Works for me as T2 as well. Can tell by my waist size if my blood sugar is high (because my carbs were high). Did anyone check the brides’ good health?

    Yup, I posted on that last week.

    Reply
  28. Katy

    My eleven yr. old daughter earned money one summer walking neighborhood dogs and giving them food/water while their owners were at work. She had no certificate to verify her expertise is caring for animals, so I guess we should have been on the lookout for a lawsuit from area kennels.

    Wait until the certified dog-walkers hear about this.

    Reply
  29. Zanna

    Good thing this isn’t a Florida law or else I would have been arrested a few years ago for giving advice to co-workers who notice my weight loss and ask me how I did it. Also, offering them advice on how to go about with the diet I chose. Wow.

    Be sure to claim your co-workers were all friends.

    Reply
  30. Mike P

    My wife had gestational diabetes for our second son. She met with a registered dietician/nutritionist. She was supposed to eat 2-3 carb counts [15 grams per carb count] for each meal and eat three meals a day. She was also to eat 3 small snacks per day of 1-2 carb counts per snack. Best case your eating 9 carb counts [135 grams], which is a lot better than most but could still cause problems. Worst case your eating 15 carb counts [225 grams] which is the LAST thing a diabetic should be doing. Subsequently, my wife figured out which foods spiked her glucose and which didn’t, lied to her nutritionist and told her she was following the ‘recommended diet’…and our journey as eating Primal/Paleo/LCHF began….

    Great post Tom

    That is unfortunately what people often have to do: ignore the supposed experts.

    Reply
  31. dlm

    CNN had a bit yesterday about brides-to-be losing 10 lbs in 20 days by using a feed tube through the nose, ingesting only *protein and fat*. May make someone wonder, how about feeding the mouth with protein and fat and see what happens. Works for me as T2 as well. Can tell by my waist size if my blood sugar is high (because my carbs were high). Did anyone check the brides’ good health?

    Yup, I posted on that last week.

    Reply
  32. Mike P

    My wife had gestational diabetes for our second son. She met with a registered dietician/nutritionist. She was supposed to eat 2-3 carb counts [15 grams per carb count] for each meal and eat three meals a day. She was also to eat 3 small snacks per day of 1-2 carb counts per snack. Best case your eating 9 carb counts [135 grams], which is a lot better than most but could still cause problems. Worst case your eating 15 carb counts [225 grams] which is the LAST thing a diabetic should be doing. Subsequently, my wife figured out which foods spiked her glucose and which didn’t, lied to her nutritionist and told her she was following the ‘recommended diet’…and our journey as eating Primal/Paleo/LCHF began….

    Great post Tom

    That is unfortunately what people often have to do: ignore the supposed experts.

    Reply
  33. Janet

    Expect that “ignore the supposed experts” thing to be much more common as the pay for performance thing gets into the bank accounts of docs under ObamaCare. I now just smile and nod when the doc prescribes what the guidelines dictate for a person of my age–over 65 (statins, beta blockers, aspirin, low fat diet, mammogram, bone density, diet counseling, etc.). Doc gets to feel good about clicking off his check list. I get to feel good by doing what really works for me (incidently that is none of the things on his check list). My labs look good, doc and I are both happy, he thinks he is successful, gets paid, and never asks about “compliance”. Why should I care? If you don’t stay on the data bank of some doc somewhere every year or two, it can be incredibly difficult to be seen when you actually need a doc for a future broken bone or infection that is actually within his/her skill set.

    That’s actually what Dr. Mary Vernon suggested on Jimmy Moore’s show. If you doctor isn’t open-minded, don’t waste your breath arguing. Take your prescription and throw it away.

    Reply
  34. Janet

    Expect that “ignore the supposed experts” thing to be much more common as the pay for performance thing gets into the bank accounts of docs under ObamaCare. I now just smile and nod when the doc prescribes what the guidelines dictate for a person of my age–over 65 (statins, beta blockers, aspirin, low fat diet, mammogram, bone density, diet counseling, etc.). Doc gets to feel good about clicking off his check list. I get to feel good by doing what really works for me (incidently that is none of the things on his check list). My labs look good, doc and I are both happy, he thinks he is successful, gets paid, and never asks about “compliance”. Why should I care? If you don’t stay on the data bank of some doc somewhere every year or two, it can be incredibly difficult to be seen when you actually need a doc for a future broken bone or infection that is actually within his/her skill set.

    That’s actually what Dr. Mary Vernon suggested on Jimmy Moore’s show. If you doctor isn’t open-minded, don’t waste your breath arguing. Take your prescription and throw it away.

    Reply
  35. lauren

    My grandmother was a type 2 diabetic. So were all 3 of her siblings who survived to old age. She was a smidge overweight, 15 pounds maybe, but most of it came down to good old genetics. Grandma was the perfect patient. She followed her doctor’s guidelines exactly. She cooked her.own food every day, and carefully balanced her carbs in accordance with the diabetes diet given to her by her Registered Dietition.

    She also took her glucophage. 2X a day, for 10 years.

    Her blood sugar was never well controlled. She could sometimes get it down to 130ish, but morning fasting rates were always 200+.

    More glucophage came, and then insulin which put her in a coma.

    She died two years ago. Liver failure caused by either the diabetes itself or the glucophage. Chicken, egg.

    The thing that makes me so mad is that she was so compliant. Had she known of the lchf diet to help with her levels, she would have followed it exactly. She was 83 when she died. No reason she couldn’t have had 5 or even 10 more good years. But no one told her, and now these monsters want to keep others in the dark. Can’t have them learning from anyone but an Official Teacher…even if it kills them. And it will.

    Reply
  36. lauren

    My grandmother was a type 2 diabetic. So were all 3 of her siblings who survived to old age. She was a smidge overweight, 15 pounds maybe, but most of it came down to good old genetics. Grandma was the perfect patient. She followed her doctor’s guidelines exactly. She cooked her.own food every day, and carefully balanced her carbs in accordance with the diabetes diet given to her by her Registered Dietition.

    She also took her glucophage. 2X a day, for 10 years.

    Her blood sugar was never well controlled. She could sometimes get it down to 130ish, but morning fasting rates were always 200+.

    More glucophage came, and then insulin which put her in a coma.

    She died two years ago. Liver failure caused by either the diabetes itself or the glucophage. Chicken, egg.

    The thing that makes me so mad is that she was so compliant. Had she known of the lchf diet to help with her levels, she would have followed it exactly. She was 83 when she died. No reason she couldn’t have had 5 or even 10 more good years. But no one told her, and now these monsters want to keep others in the dark. Can’t have them learning from anyone but an Official Teacher…even if it kills them. And it will.

    Reply
  37. Johan

    Maybe I should start a website/blog, directed to North Carolina. Dedicated on dietary advice claiming my advice is superior to licenced dieticians in NC…
    It would be really interesting to see what NC dieticians would do if a Swedish blogger challenge them the way Steve did…
    I’d love to meet them in a Swedish court! With the strictest (most liberal that is) freedom of speach laws on the globe…
    By the way, LCHF is getting mainstream here know. Still some old school dieticians and some odd, soon to be retired professor, claiming high carb is the way to go – but… No one listens to them anymore.

    That’s what will turn this around, when average folks just stop listening to them.

    Reply
  38. Woodey

    Is he willing to take the responsibility of someone getting sicker or even dying from his advice? Just because a group of people think he is correct in his thinking does not make it so. We have Drs and people with education in their field to help people.

    I think its great that he tried a diet that worked for him, but that does not mean it is universal and everyone should do it. Every group feels they are correct and justified, but its called human bias and is a huge factor that needs to be dealt with before any claims are made.

    Michael Shermer makes some great points about this in his lecture I highly recommend watching it.

    A full lecture on this

    Well, let’s see … does the ADA take responsibility for all the diabetics who’ve gotten worse and died following their advice? And which diabetics do you suppose are going to die from his advice to stop eating the foods that jack up their blood sugar?

    The people who choose to take his advice know they’re adopting a plan that’s outside the mainstream.

    Reply
  39. Johan

    Maybe I should start a website/blog, directed to North Carolina. Dedicated on dietary advice claiming my advice is superior to licenced dieticians in NC…
    It would be really interesting to see what NC dieticians would do if a Swedish blogger challenge them the way Steve did…
    I’d love to meet them in a Swedish court! With the strictest (most liberal that is) freedom of speach laws on the globe…
    By the way, LCHF is getting mainstream here know. Still some old school dieticians and some odd, soon to be retired professor, claiming high carb is the way to go – but… No one listens to them anymore.

    That’s what will turn this around, when average folks just stop listening to them.

    Reply
  40. Richard

    @Johan, DO IT, DO IT NOW

    I want to see the news of that happening, oh it’d be so sweet to have those RD crying their wittle eyes out that someone they can’t touch is making them look like total and utter fools.

    Don’t forget to ensure that they’re aware of the site.

    Reply
  41. LXV

    “Programmers may try to get a licensure law passed, but they probably won’t succeed without convincing the legislature that there is a compelling public interest at stake beyond the economic protection of programmers. ”

    Horse[poop].

    Depending on where you live here’s licensing for nail technicians, salon stylists, interior designers (the kind that hang curtains, not the kind that knock out walls), cosmetologists, referees, and janitors. How is it in the public interest to have a licensed interior designer? Does an improperly shabby-chic kitchen have an increased chance of causing salmonella?

    Considering that legislators in Illinois made it illegal to braid hair for money without a license, I don’t think a “compelling public interest” is a requirement.

    Reply
  42. The Older Brother

    (NM says)”This is where Utopian libertarianism fails, I feel. What about the “choice” of those into whose houses the incompetent, untrained pilot crashes? Whenever I’m feeling the refreshing winds of Libertarian idealism, another read of Hobbes’ Leviathan brings me back to earth.”

    (TN reply) “Then the incompetent, untrained pilot should be held liable, same as a licensed driver who causes a crash. ”

    Also held liable would be whoever rented the plane to the untrained idiot, creating a strong market incentive not to let idiots rent planes; and whose insurance carrier would no doubt have a strong opinion on whether their clients should rent planes to unlicensed idiots. An idiot who built or bought their own plane, assuming they weren’t a suicidal nutjob, would also have a strong incentive to not wreck said investment, along with their own personal person, and budget for some lessons along with the props and ailerons.

    And somehow, before the FAA was created, people still expended above average effort to keep from crashing themselves and their planes into various landscape elements, despite no regulatory apparatus being in place to discourage the practice.

    Of course, we’ve had instances where dedicated suicidal nutjobs are somehow able to get planes and crash them into buildings even though there are in fact laws, rules, and regulators all designed to keep that from happening.

    This is where Big Government Utopian statism fails. And if you ever think you’re feeling the refreshing winds of more bigger better government idealism, just pick up a newspaper!

    Cheers

    Reply
  43. Richard

    @Johan, DO IT, DO IT NOW

    I want to see the news of that happening, oh it’d be so sweet to have those RD crying their wittle eyes out that someone they can’t touch is making them look like total and utter fools.

    Don’t forget to ensure that they’re aware of the site.

    Reply
  44. LXV

    “Programmers may try to get a licensure law passed, but they probably won’t succeed without convincing the legislature that there is a compelling public interest at stake beyond the economic protection of programmers. ”

    Horse[poop].

    Depending on where you live here’s licensing for nail technicians, salon stylists, interior designers (the kind that hang curtains, not the kind that knock out walls), cosmetologists, referees, and janitors. How is it in the public interest to have a licensed interior designer? Does an improperly shabby-chic kitchen have an increased chance of causing salmonella?

    Considering that legislators in Illinois made it illegal to braid hair for money without a license, I don’t think a “compelling public interest” is a requirement.

    Reply
  45. The Older Brother

    (NM says)”This is where Utopian libertarianism fails, I feel. What about the “choice” of those into whose houses the incompetent, untrained pilot crashes? Whenever I’m feeling the refreshing winds of Libertarian idealism, another read of Hobbes’ Leviathan brings me back to earth.”

    (TN reply) “Then the incompetent, untrained pilot should be held liable, same as a licensed driver who causes a crash. ”

    Also held liable would be whoever rented the plane to the untrained idiot, creating a strong market incentive not to let idiots rent planes; and whose insurance carrier would no doubt have a strong opinion on whether their clients should rent planes to unlicensed idiots. An idiot who built or bought their own plane, assuming they weren’t a suicidal nutjob, would also have a strong incentive to not wreck said investment, along with their own personal person, and budget for some lessons along with the props and ailerons.

    And somehow, before the FAA was created, people still expended above average effort to keep from crashing themselves and their planes into various landscape elements, despite no regulatory apparatus being in place to discourage the practice.

    Of course, we’ve had instances where dedicated suicidal nutjobs are somehow able to get planes and crash them into buildings even though there are in fact laws, rules, and regulators all designed to keep that from happening.

    This is where Big Government Utopian statism fails. And if you ever think you’re feeling the refreshing winds of more bigger better government idealism, just pick up a newspaper!

    Cheers

    Reply
  46. Pam

    We had another interesting case here in North Carolina maybe a year ago where a group of neighbors asked and asked for a stop sign (I think) to be installed at a dangerous intersection — with no response. One resident took the trouble to draw an extremely accurate and detailed map to help show the appropriate agency exactly what the danger was. Their response? They took him to court for practicing engineering without a license! He got off with a warning from the judge not to do it again.

    Oh my lord … for drawing a map?

    Reply

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