yulkapopkova / Getty
yulkapopkova / Getty
Last week, a federal court upheld Florida state law stating that only licensed professionals are allowed to charge customers for nutritional advice, the Associated Press reports. This happened after Florida-based "health coach" Heather Del Castillo challenged the law in court after being issued a cease and desist order in 201
Del Castillo's case underscores the fact that different states have different rules when it comes to who can charge for nutrition tips. She lived in California when she started her business in 2015, and there was no problem as Golden State does not require health coaches licensed to charge customers for their services. When she moved to Florida, she was subject to other laws.
Her company, Constitution Nutrition, sold six-month health and nutrition programs that included 13 in-home consultations. Twelve sessions cost $ 95 each, according to Ars Technica. But in Florida she was not qualified to sell her instruction.
A 1988 law called the "Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Act" (DNPA) requires that anyone offering health coaching in Florida need to be a licensed professional (for example, a registered dietitian). To prevent "experts" from providing untrustworthy advice, qualifications include a university degree in a relevant area from an accredited school, at least 900 hours of medical school-recognized education or experience, and passing a state entrance exam. Del Castillo's only qualification to give health advice is a certificate from the Institution for Integrated Nutrition, a non-accredited online school. But to be fair, at least that is something .
The court has clarified that the law requires a license specifically for charging personalized consulting or coaching fees and that Del Castillo is fine to give advice free of charge.
Del Castillo does not see why she is less professional because of her lack of qualification for Florida. She went to Instagram to share her insights and to ask people who did not know her situation to stop harassing her.
View Post on InstagramYou may have heard I've lost my case against the Florida Department of Health. Here I take the opportunity to talk about friendliness. Never in my life would I have thought that I would review my private Facebook messages and see "damn delay" written along with a link to the story of my case. I know that there are many people who disagree with my attitude. But being called a liar, charlatan, "snake oil vendor" and "dangerous idiot" is just rude and sad. Two people even posted reviews on my Facebook page stating that they do not recommend me even though they've never met me. You only read one article about my case. Someone went so far as to say that I pretended to be a doctor. Are you kidding me? It's funny that these people do not know about how this case came about, what information I shared or why I fight for freedom of expression. People stand on the platform and say I need the "right education". Ironically, nothing would change, even if I met the 900 hours prescribed in Florida (but not in most other states). Just because I do not follow the instructions of this state, I suddenly spit out complete nonsense? Why do people love to pollute and vilify others? I just do not understand. However, if I fulfilled all the requirements and then represented exactly the same health principles, I would suddenly be credible and worthy of respect. Without them, do I deserve hate speech and disrespect? 🤔 I have to misunderstand something about working life in Florida. Do not worry, I can pretty much remove most of these comments and messages. But I will not hide myself and let people know how terrible our fellow citizens are. My husband reminded me that the support I receive far outweighs the hideous horrible people, and I'm really grateful for that. If you support me, even if you do not know me well, thank you!
Regardless of your attitude towards Del Castillo, it is undeniable that certain qualifications are evidence of the expertise of a health and nutrition expert. Countless online fitness experts offer personalized diet and exercise programs, and many people seek the help of fitness and nutrition experts outside the endless stream of fitness gurus on the Internet. One surefire way to make sure your trainer or nutritionist is legitimate is to review his licenses and certifications.No