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Is it Legal to Give Nutrition Advice?

Charles, Thank you first off for your service. I am wondering what the laws are regulation giving nutrition advice. I have been told by some that only registered dieticians can legally give nutrition advice however I know many many if not all personal trainers that do so. Thanks,
Tim

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Ans.
by: Derrick

Its not legal to give nutrition advice if you are not licensed to do so.

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Nutrition Guidelines
by: Anonymous

We can give nutritional guidelines per the food pyramid but we are not legally allowed to prescibe supplements, specific dietary plan or formulate menus for our clients.
I will recommend certain books to my clients to them improve thier diets.

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Can you summarize points based ...
by: Anonymous

Can you summarize evidence and diet plans that are contained in books if you site them? Much like you would do with a paper. As long as you don't claim that the information is coming from you? How is it possible that many books about nutrition are not writen by Registered Dietitians... ?

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The Law
by: Anonymous

http://www.camlawblog.com/articles/dietary-supplements/california-law-for-nonlicensed-practitioners-and-nutritional-advice/

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Each state laws vary..
by: Anonymous

It depends what state you are in, my Food Science and Human Nutrition degree is from Washington and I was told as long as I did not claim to be a dietian, I could give advice, but I am currently in the East an they want a fee and a test, and I am semi retired now.

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Personal Trainers and Nutrition

by Tom Mackenroth
(Missoula, MT)

Is it legal for a certified personal trainer to give nutrition advice if they are not a RD, or certified in nutrition?

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Nutrition Guidelines
by: Anonymous

We can give nutritional guidelines per the food pyramid but we are not legally allowed to prescibe supplements, specific dietary plan or formulate menus for our clients.
I will recommend certain books to my clients to them improve thier diets.

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Nutrition Counsel

I am a certified Pilates Instructor and am studying to take my Personal Training exam. I am wondering, am I able to offer nutrition counsel to clients if I am not certified in nutrition? I am wondering if I were able to meet with them, charge a fee for my time, and have them sign a liability waiver stating I am not an MD or an RD, etc., so they knowingly are aware of this beforehand, if that is legal??

Nutrition is a passion, and simply from personal study, I know A LOT, I just haven't had the "official" training. So my question is if I am able to do this, because i have mentioned little tidbits here and there, and clients have come wanting extensive help on their day to day nutrition, and I haven't offered it yet for a.) the legal reason, and b.) if I am going to be offering nutrition advice I want to be compensated for my service and time.

Any help would be great!

I am in MN if that matters regarding State laws.

Thank you!

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Nutrition in Personal Training

by Bonnie
(Michigan)

If you are not certified in Nutrition but are a certified PT legally how much can you assist a client. I am thinking in terms of the gym where I work we are thinking of starting a basic nutrition and strength program that clients would purchase but all of the trainers in our club are not certified in nutrition we know the basics and that is how we would advertise. Can we get in trouble at all.

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Personal Trainer nutrition help
by: Old School Fitness

Bonnie,

That is a great question. I have never seen any real restrictions on what you can and cannot say to help a client. MOst clients that you train need help with nutrition more than working out anyway.

As long as thy are comfortable taking your advice, give it. You could always have them sign a waiver as well.

thanks

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yes and no
by: Stacey Hancock

Provided you are giving a basic meal plan (eg, cut out extra sugars, trans and sat fats, alcohol, additives etc, smaller portions etc) then I think a personal trainer can certainly offer basic nutrition advice without any legal trouble. Everything is covered under signed declarations, Par-Q's anyway stating that client is taking all advice under own risk.

Problem comes though, when you have a client with an underlying medical concern such as cholesterol, bp, diabetes, thyroid, intolerances, allergies, eating disorders etc. Most personal trainers aren't equipped with the knowledge (or the time) to a) research for that client and b) prepare a well-thought out food plan that relates to that client.

I believe that personal trainers need to have a little forsight with their clients, I'm not saying pts are high on ego, but a little letting go of areas that they are not trained in would help their client better achieve the goals and further enhance the success of the pt. Lets put it this way, I would do a tri-athletes nutrition, but am happy to refer the training to someone else.

Same goes for nutritionists who believe they can offer sports nutrition when they're not experienced in it, or those that provide a basic healthy eating plan, when a client may need a more tailored weight loss plan which pays close attention to who they are as a person, their lifestyle and their food preferences. There is always room to negotiate with a client if it means they are going to adhere to their plan better.

Stacey Hancock
Qualified Nutritionist & Personal Trainer
http://www.staceyhancock.co.nz

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Make sure they are not allergic
by: Anonymous

Just make sure you do not suggest or tell your client to eat any foods that they are allergic too. Other than that, you should be fine giving detailed nutrition plans.

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be careful
by: Anonymous

It really depends on the state in which you live and how detailed the nutritoin and dietitian practice act is in that state. For example in Illinois it says you may not engage in nutrition counseling unlesss you are a licensed dietitian or other healthcare professional that may be able to practice nutrition for examples doctors, chiropractors, athletic trainers andnursed to limited degree.

you could give very basic advice eat this not that type of advice but not specifics especailly if they have underlying health conditions

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Nutrition

by Kara
(Lake zurich, IL, USA )

Hello,
What is the regulation (for personal trainers) about giving nutrition advice to clients? I have my exercise science degree and no nutrition certificate. My boss wants me to give advice and he is promoting it to clients and i don't feel this is right? Am i correct?

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You are right my friend
by: LC-CPT

We learn about nutrition but we are not Register nutritionists. Of course we can help people understanding nutrition by using the information from our books and the USDA guide lines but we cannot give diets. I mean you can but you it's risky. The body is very complex and some people have allergies and diseases. If something goes bad, they can sue you. You can google it. There are a lot of examples out there.

Good luck


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No
by: Anonymous

If you're a certified trainer you should know this! Always refer to other professionals when questions involves anything other than exercise.

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Nutritional Advice


(Missouri)

So I know that personal trainers (or anyone who is not licensed to do so), is not legally allowed to give nutritional advice. If a disclaimer is added to the advice, like a waiver stating something along the lines of "This information is for informational purposes only and it is recommended that you see your physician or registered dietician before making any changes to your diet," is it then legal because you are not posing as a licensed professional?

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Facts on Personal Trainers
by: Anonymous

Yes, personal trainers are able to to advice a client on proper nutrition, it's client's responsibilty to see their Dr. prior to starting any new diet or fitness plan whether they use a fitness trainer, buy a diet book, and a order a video.

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Should I Sue my Personal Trainer?

by Alyssa
(Plantation, fl)

What are the nutritional plan laws I'm Florida. People are telling me lately in Florida there's specific laws that state a personal trainer can not give out a detailed meal plan without certification on nutrition. Is this true? I was given a borderline anorexia, in terms of caloric intake, diet from my ex trainer and want to sue him for damaging my metabolism.

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Should I sue my personal trainer
by: Dr. Anthony Abbott, FACSM, FNSCA

Hello Alyssa,

The Florida Department of Health has a Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Council whose laws and rules under Chapter 468, Part X address this concern of the unlicensed practice of nutrition and dietetics. Section 468.517 Prohibitions & Penalties states "A person may not knowingly engage in dietetics and nutrition practice or nutrition counseling for remuneration unless the person is licensed under this part (part X). A person who violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 (imprisonment not to exceed 1 year and/or fine not to exceed $1,000)." If your trainer is unlicensed and provided you with a specific, written meal plan which you followed and which in fact did lead to a health disorder, you may have grounds to sue your trainer under civil law. Additionally, you may contact through the Division of Consumer Services an Unlicensed Activity Investigator who can pursue documentation of such a violation of criminal law and determine what further steps should be taken. If you would like to further discuss this matter, feel free to contact me at (954) 786-1442.

Sincerely, Dr. Abbott

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Nutrition--what can I call myself

by J.J. Kunkle
(Bellbrook, OH)

I am starting up a small personal training company. I had one before, went back to a desk job and am in the process of getting certified again. After I pass the cert. test for training I would like to start a program in nutrition (certification program would be ideal...but since I have a master's degree...I'm even pondering a PhD). From what I've read, it sounds like, in Ohio, to call yourself a nutritionist or a dietician, you have to do the 900 hour internship, pass licensing tests, etc.

Can I do a certification program (holistic nutrition really interests me) and call myself something else: Nutrition Consultant? Wellness Coach? Holistic Nutrition Counselor?

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nutrition advice with wavier
by: Anonymous

i'm a licensed trainer and i'm aware i cannot give a meal plan but only suggest. if my client signs a wavier stating this was a suggestive meal plan does that cover me ?? also if not am i able to co mingle with a RD to provide training from me and Diets from Her/him and make it a package price would that be legal in fl? i want to provide a full approach to my client legally what is the best way to go about this? and what legal documents would i need?

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