The Preservation of the Field of (Holistic) Nutrition

The last few weeks have been jam-packed with travel, conferences and classes. At the end of April I attended the yearly conference of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals in San Francisco. Outside of the various nutritional educational tracks the buzz was all about proposed legislation in CA and several other states pertaining to the field of nutrition. Very serious stuff for those of us who incorporate any form of nutritional therapy into a professional practice.

While the proposed bill (CA AB575) in California was pulled last week there are still several others pending. This isn’t something that is going to go away. The Alliance for Natural Health has a really great summary of what’s happening in the industry, collectively and by state. The bottom line is that anyone who wants to retain the right to choose the type of nutrition professional they can access and anyone who wants to continue to practice in this field needs to pay attention to what is happening today in our industry.  

For me it was a definite reminder as an educator,  practitioner and consumer of the benefits of (holistic) nutrition that it is incumbent upon me to be involved outside of the comforts of my own office. Don’t think this doesn’t really impact you.  Ask Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, CHN. On April 20, 2011, the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition denied Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, CHN the right to practice as a nutritionist in North Carolina. Liz has been a practitioner for over 20 years. Unthinkable!

So, I challenge students, practitioners and consumers of nutrition related fields outside of the narrowly defined area of dietetics to become champions. Be involved, stay informed and actively preserve the bounty of  this incredibly rich and diverse field. As for the “how” join your local nutritionist group(s), build credibility through national membership, board certification, etc. and stay apprised of the latest legislative and industry news. Make sure you are well versed in your respective scope of practice and understand the respective licensing requirements and corresponding practice verbiage in your state for dietitians and nutritionists.

In Boise, we will be hosting an evening event on Friday, June 3rd from 5:30-7:30PM with our current nutrition students and alumni. The event will be a round table discussion focused on the field of holistic nutrition including updates on legislation, opportunities, etc. I strongly encourage our WNP alumni to attend.

Rachael Myles, CHN, CMT


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