Check the Status of the Law in Your State

State Map of Current Laws

Select a state to learn more
LEGEND
Red: It is illegal to perform individualized nutrition counseling unless licensed or exempt. Effectively only RDs are eligible for licensure.
Orange: It is illegal to perform individualized nutrition counseling unless licensed or exempt. There is a non-RD pathway for licensure. Check for exemptions.
Yellow: It is legal for all to perform individualized nutrition counseling. Effectively, only RDs are eligible for state recognition.
Green: It is legal for all to perform individualized nutrition counseling.

Glossary of Terms

This glossary will help you understand the language and terminology of nutrition regulations. Terms throughout the site are linked to the glossary definitions below to help you navigate the nuances of the regulations. 

Diabetes Self Management Training or DSMT is a specific, covered benefit under Medicare and some other insurance policies. DSMT is a multi-week curriculum, developed by American Association of Diabetes Educators and American Diabetes Association designed to be delivered only in a group format by trained instructors who can be either licensed or credentialed health care providers and non-credentialed providers such as community health workers. At least one instructor must be either a RD, RN or Pharmacist. The DSMT curriculum covers many aspects of managing Diaberes, including medication management, glucose monitoring, diet, exercise, problem solving, etc. DSMT is not the same as providing individual counseling regarding diabetes.

North Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

  1. Holding a government credential listing one as practicing nutrition in a state with a Registration regulation; or
  2. Recognized by a private body awarding Registration to a person who has met defined criteria set by the registration body usually in order to demonstrate a level of competence, e.g. registered dietitian (RD).

A person who has completed the academic, exam and supervised practice experience approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), a private trade association. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) is the accrediting arm of AND that grants the RD credential

A process, instituted by either a governmental or private sector organization, which verifies that one has met a defined set of criteria to become publicly listed/registered.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is an association of U.S. colleges and universities that recognizes 6 regional agencies which in turn recognize colleges, junior colleges, community colleges and universities within their regions, that have met certain standards. Every state nutrition regulation mandates that academic degrees come from a college or university in the U.S. that has been recognized by one of these regional bodies, or if from a non-U.S. college or university, one with with equivalent standards as determined by the licensing board in that state.  Once an institution has been approved it is given a designation of regional accreditation.

Any school or program that has not been officially recognized by a body designed to evaluate whether the school or program has met defined standards. For the purposes of state nutrition regulations the only acceptable institution is one that has been recognized by a Regional Accrediting agency as determined by The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

A type of regulation which names and defines specific activities that constitute the practice of nutrition, and excludes and criminalizes those who practice without having met these criteria and obtained the corresponding license. This kind of law specifies the criteria one must meet in order to become licensed and it also limits the use of certain titles named in the law, to those who have the credential. These laws may have a list of exemptions that outline professional groups for whom parts or all of the law do not apply.

A type of regulation which names and defines specific activities that constitute the practice of nutrition, but does not usually exclude or criminalize those who practice without having obtained the credential. This kind of law specifies the criteria one must meet in order to become licensed and it also limits the use of certain titles named in the law, to those who have the credential. This type of law is often referred to as a title protection law.  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) leadership is working to make these laws more restrictive.

A professional regulation, generally but not always less restrictive than licensure. This regulation defines criteria one must meet in order to receive the credential specified in the law. These laws usually, but not always, protect a title without criminalizing the practice (as defined by the law) by those who do not possess the credential. This type of law is often referred to as a title protection law.

A set of, defined, specific activities that constitute “practicing” the profession being regulated. Regulations with higher degrees of restriction explicitly define these activities in more detail, while laws with lesser degrees of restriction typically define more generally, or not at all.  An exclusive scope of practice outlines specific detailed activities and the individuals who qualify to legally provide those activities.

A feature of a law that specifies titles, including initials, and the corresponding set of criteria an individual must meet to use the specified titles. In some cases a law will also indicate that titles with analogous meaning are also protected even if they are not explicitly listed in the law.  Laws may protect the use of a title only, or they may protect title and restrict who can practice regardless of title.

A state government regulation designed to establish a credential for a particular occupation. This regulation can take the form of a Licensure, Certification or Registration law.

A process, instituted by a state government, to credential an occupation.

  1. Holding a government credential authorizing one to practice an occupation in state with a Certification regulation for that occupation; or
  2. Recognized by a private body awarding Certification to a person who has met defined criteria set by the accrediting body, usually in order to demonstrate a level of competence. Being privately certified does not necessarily mean one is automatically eligible for the state government-issued credential.

A nutrition professional who has completed a bachelor's degree in nutritional sciences or a related field, completed post-graduate studies in clinical nutrition commensorate to the program offered by the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB), and received a passing score on the board CCN Examination.
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An advance-degreed nutrition practitioner credential awarded by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists after successful completion of the body’s post-baccalaureate academic, exam and supervised practice components. Also known as CNS, this is the most frequent, non-RD credential recognized in state nutrition regulations.

A professional regulation, generally but not always less restrictive than licensure. This regulation defines criteria one must meet in order to receive the credential specified in the law. These laws usually, but not always, protect a title without criminalizing the practice (as defined by the law) by those who do not possess the credential.  This type of law is often referred to as a title protection law.

A private credentialing body awarding the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) designation for nutrition practitioners with advanced degrees who meet specific, clinically-oriented, academic, exam, and supervised practice requirements. The CBNS administers the CBNS Certifying Examination, which measures advanced knowledge and skill in science-based nutrition therapeutics. The CNS credential and the CBNS exam are the most frequent, non-RD credential or exam recognized in state nutrition regulations.

An individual, program, organization or school that is recognized as having met a set of standards set by a public or private body.

A process, instituted by either a governmental or private sector organization, which verifies that one has met a defined set of criteria.

The certifying agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) whose responsibilties encompass all matters pertaining to certification, including but not limited to standard setting, establishment of fees, finances and administration.

A license, certificate, or registration

A health professional trained to provide ifestyle nutrition and help individuals set and reach their health goals using diet and exercise tools and behavioral psychology principles.

Holding a government credential authorizing one to practice an occupation in a state with a licensure regulation for that occupation.

Basic, publicly available, generic information about food and/or supplements, methods of preparation (food), nutrient data, physiological mechanisms of action, interactions, or other information that is not individualized or advising a course of action. For example, “Oranges contain Vitamin C.”

A clause within a law that specifies individuals or groups to whom the law does not apply or circumstances under which the law does not apply.

The Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition (CBCN) is a credentialing and certifying agency under the auspices of the American Chiropractic Association and a member of the American Board of Chiropractic Specialties. Diplomate candidates must be chiropractic physicians and have successfully completed the required post graduate nutrition coursework. Upon successful completion of the CBCN examination, developed by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), the CBCN is authorized and recognized to issue the specialty certification of Diplomate (DCBCN).

A nutriton professional who has received a clinical doctorate in Nutritional Sciences or is a health professional with a doctoral level training (e.g. DO, DC, MD, DDS, ND), who has successfully completed 300 clock hours of specialized board-approved postgraduate training in nutrition, and who has a minimum of two (2) years practice experience in nutrition prior to sitting for the American Clinical Board of Nutrition (ACBN) examination.  The ACBN is a certifying agency accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Formerly known as the American Dietetic Association, the AND is the professional trade association for Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians.  The organizations maintains multiple other organizations and entities including the Commission on Dietetic Registration, Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education, Dietetic Practice Groups, Academy Political Action Committee, and Academy Foundation.