Diet Blogging is a Crime in North Carolina


North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition threatens to sue a diabetes blogger and potentially subject him to 120 days in jail for recommending the “Paleo diet“, alleging that the blogger is practicing “nutrition” without a license (which is a misdemeanor [.pdf file]).

The NC Dietetics Nutrition Practice Act really doesn’t state what is permissible, though. Section 90-368 states what practices are not affected under the Act. What can people do without a nutrition license, though?

Charla Burill, the board’s director, states that bloggers have “a First Amendment right to blog about his diet, but he can’t encourage others to adopt it unless the state has certified him as a dietitian or nutritionist.”

To be fair, on some of the blogger’s pages, he offers to sell individual “support packages” for one on one counseling with blog readers which does cross the line. But there are many other issues that show how expansive this North Carolina law really is.

Is Michelle Obama breaking the law when she recommends that people eat broccoli? Oh, wait, the government can tell you what products to buy and can even fine you for not buying them. That’s what the whole Affordable Care Act is about.

Are North Carolina moms going to jail for advising their kids on what to eat at dinner?

Have the publishers of the South Beach Diet book been hit with an injunction in North Carolina?

What happens when a sponsor at Alcoholics Anonymous personally advises another member on how to limit alcohol intake? Watch it, buddy. You’re going to find yourself in the Greybar Motel for doing that.

Another hat tip to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit for the link.

Oh, and by the way, everyone in North Carolina who has diabetes should eat less refined carbohydrates and eat more sushi and broccoli like I do. It’s the bomb! I’ll just call it the “modified Paleo diet.”


  1. This is the kind of nonsense that happens when someone gets a state legislature convinced that an area needs “regulation” with a scare tactic. Much like an interior design license. Or a cosmetology license, and on and on.

    Some fees get generated, some people get to form a board and hang out in the state capitol, and the public has to pay more for the little racket.


  2. I’ve heard–and haven’t investigated myself, so this is just hearsay–that the site in question touted the blogger’s paleo diet coaching program, available for the low low price of $67 a month.

Leave A Reply