In North Carolina it is a misdemeanor to engage in the “practice of dietetics/nutrition,” which is defined as including “assessing the nutritional needs of individuals and groups.” Steve Cooksey blogs on diabetes, urging a low or zero carb diet, heavy on meat and greens. For this he was cited by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition as engaging in the practice of dietetics/nutrition. He has responded with a lawsuit alleging that the state has violated his free speech rights. News account here.
My initial take is that the statute is wildly overbroad. It would include a parent’s decision to assess the nutritional needs of his or her child and to prescribe accordingly. It would include advice among friends concerning whether the fish or steak is a better nutritional choice, or whether a particular food is an efficacious anti-oxidant and whether it is beneficial for the advisee to consume such foods. Aside from the constitutional issues, this broad prohibition strikes me as yet another example of regulatory overkill.