Paleo Blogger Silenced by State Board of Dietetics

August 9, 2012 · 17 comments

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In North Carolina is it apparently not legal to give dietary advise unless you are a registered dietician. Paleo blogger, Steve Cooksey of Diabetes-Warrior.net has been targeted by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition (registered dietitians) under the guise of a North Carolina state law because he was counseling people in nutrition.  As a citizen it really gets my back up when a political organization such as the Board of Dietetics (who we know gets tons of money from soft drink and junk food companies) starts dictating their own brand of nutrition.

More people need to take responsibility for their own health

Cooksey was overweight with insulin dependent diabetes. Then he took responsibility for his own health instead of relying on doctors and medications. He adopted the Paleo diet, lost weight, lost the diabetic diagnosis and requires no medications. He did it all through changing his lifestyle and diet. See his cool video here.

As a nutritionist/chiropractor I think someone should have training in order to counsel people for money. Unfortunately, dietetics in this country is controlled by the processed food and beverage industries. (Click here to find out what the American Dietetic Association is trying to do in every state in this country.) The appropriate training can be acquired through several other institutions that teach correct nutrition — not the conventional processed food supporting misinformation they call dietetics.

Click here to find out the differences between dietitians and nutritionists.

Treatment for diabetics in 7 countries ineffective

In March of 2011, Science Daily published an article about a study that was published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization‘s March edition. Entitled, “Management of diabetes and associated cardiovascular risk factors in seven countries: a comparison of data from national health examination surveys,” the study compared the outcomes of diabetic management in 7 countries.

According to Dr. Stephen Lim, one of the study’s co-authors and an Associate Professor of Global Health at IHME,

Too many people are not being properly diagnosed with diabetes and related cardiovascular risk factors. Those who are diagnosed aren’t being effectively treated. This is a huge missed opportunity to lower the burden of disease in both rich and poor countries.

IHME researchers gathered data and performed their analysis in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine; the Harvard Global Equity Initiative; the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico; and Ramathibodi Hospital in Thailand.

In an attempt to determine the cause of the low rates of diagnosis and effective treatment, researchers examined a range of factors and found that there were no inequalities in diagnosis and treatment of diabetes related to socioeconomic status.

However, in the US, people who had insurance were twice as likely to be diagnosed and effectively treated for diabetes as those who did not have insurance. Economic status does have an effect on whether or not one has insurance or not.

In the United States alone, nearly 90% of adult diabetics — more than 16 million adults aged 35 and older — have blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol that are not treated effectively — that is, they do not meet standards for healthy levels of blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. In Mexico, 99% of adult diabetics are not meeting those standards.

Is taking medication acceptable when it can be managed by diet?

What does effective treatment mean? From a researcher’s point of view it means that medications are used to control blood sugar (and the other conditions). While medications may be necessary to control things initially, it is certainly better for someone to take control of their own health and learn how to improve their health through lifestyle changes.

Steve Cooksey did just that and is sharing what he learned through his own experience. Aren’t we all, as bloggers doing that?

Cooksey is represented by libertarian group Institute for Justice, which on its website defends Cooksey’s position:

…the First Amendment does not allow the government to ban people from sharing ordinary advice about diet, or scrub the Internet — from blogs to Facebook to Twitter — of speech the government does not like. North Carolina can no more force Steve to become a licensed dietitian than it could require Dear Abby to become a licensed psychologist.

I like their reference to Dear Abbey. I would miss reading her column wouldn’t you? What do you think about this case? Leave a comment and let me know!

Click here for more information about appropriate nutritional training based on the work of Drs. Weston Price and Francis Pottenger.

This post is shared at: Freaky Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Country Homemaker Hop. LHITS, Friday Food, Monday Mania, Barnyard Hop, Traditional Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop, Whole Food Wednesday, Sustainable Ways, Allergy Free Wednesday, Mommy Club, Keep It Real Thursday

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather Garcia Queen August 10, 2012 at 9:24 am

I am glad you shared this story… I first caught wind of it yesterday on a different website and was appalled that this person was the subject of such action. However… when referencing any information related to the disease of “diabetes” it is imperative that you distinguish the specific type to which you are referring. The information shared in this post refers to Type 2 Diabetes, which is a very different animal from Type 1 Diabetes. To use the term “diabetes” without specification just serves to further misinform the public about the kinds of treatments and interventions that are available and that are (or are not) effective for people with diabetes. Treatments and interventions for people with Type 2 are very different from those for people with Type 1. Being a mother of a 7-year-old child with Type 1, her diabetes cannot be cured nor controlled by nutrition interventions, period. She certainly benefits from proper nutrition, but that is NOT an intervention to manage or even cure her disease. It may, however, be a suitable intervention for people with Type 2 diabetes, such as the gentleman who is the subject of the stupidity of the State of North Carolina.

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2 Jill August 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Hi Heather,
Thank you for the your comment. Yes, type 1 diabetes is quite different from type 2. However, as an autoimmune disease, type 1 may be impacted in a very positive way by the GAPS diet. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has reported a measure of success with some type 1 diabetics in that blood sugar control is better and less insulin is needed.

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3 Sam August 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Time to use their same measures, perhaps, and try them! Are they touting truth? Should they be brought to court for giving advice—when they may be proven wrong!

We tend to think defense…..perhpas, new game strategy—Offense!!! Come right back at them using their parameters. They won’t hold up to science, and the debate will be very……………… cleansing.

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4 Joyce August 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

“Steve Cooksey of Diabetes-Warrior.net has been targeted by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition (registered dietitians) under the guise of a North Carolina state law because he was counseling people in nutrition.”

So according to North Carolina, people who have conditions, and want to share their experiences and solutions they had to treat the problem, trying to help others should be licensed? Wow! I guess parenting would need a license next!

I agree with Sam.

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5 Mindy @ Too Many Jars in My Kitchen! August 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm

It’s always concerning to hear people going after bloggers who are sharing their own stories. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

I just launched a new real food blog carnival called Fill Those Jars Friday. I’d love to have you come stop by and share this on it: http://toomanyjarsinmykitchen.com/2012/08/10/fill-those-jars-friday-august-10-2012/

See you there!
Mindy

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6 Kayleigh Jean August 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

This is so crazy because we have researchers out there spending millions every year to “find the cure for diabetes”. What I really think they should say is “We are looking for a way for people to eat processed foods and guzzle down sugary soft drinks all day without getting sick.” Thanks for posting this.

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7 San Antonio Nutritionist August 13, 2012 at 1:45 am

Great and really informative post. This really helps a lot especially for people that they should always remember about taking good care of their health.

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9 KarenLynn@Lil'SuburbanHomestead August 13, 2012 at 6:41 am

I unfortunately am from this state…and I say that because they don’t think we are capable of making our own decisions for example it is against the law to purchase raw milk in this state…its very hard to get your hands on healthy options in this state because like I said they think we need them “The Government” to make our choices for us….NOT!!!! I think its a shame when someone can’t share their story and help others anymore. North Carolina needs to wisen up and start acting more progressive with the times instead of back in the dark ages.

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10 Jill August 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm

This is insane that a blogger can’t even blog about their own experiences now. I read blogs that dispense all kinds of advice from A-Z and most bloggers are responsible enough to clearly post “I am not a doctor” type of disclaimers.

I learn more from bloggers – i.e. regular Joes and Janes – than from any “help” my doctors give me!

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11 Heather :) :) :) August 13, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Wow, thanks for sharing this story. I’m glad that he’s speaking out about his experiences with the Paleo diet. I’m surprised and I’m not surprised by the way the state reacted to him!!! I pray that he’ll continue to speak out!!!! Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather ;) :)

p.s. I follow the GAPS diet myself, right now…and I know there are quite a few other bloggers out there talking about their experiences with this plan and with Paleo, too. It’s really encouraging and inspiring…and has helped me way more than traditional diets would dictate is “good” for me :) :)

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12 Barb @ Frugal Local Kitchen August 14, 2012 at 8:45 am

I used to be a Shaklee distributor. Given what you’ve written, I wouldn’t be able to sell Shaklee products in North Carolina unless I was a registered dietician.

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13 Rachel August 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Would you trust medical advice given to you by a doctor who doesn’t have a license? Would you trust your money to be invested by someone who isn’t a certified financial planner? Would you trust a pilot who hasn’t been certified to fly a plane? Would you trust advice from a psychologist who doesn’t have a Ph.D? Would you take legal advice from someone who hasn’t passed a bar exam? Would you get a professional massage by someone who wasn’t licensed?

No? Then why would you trust dietary advice from someone who isn’t an RD and doesn’t at least have a bachelors degree, if not a masters? Yes, there are other ways of doing things that may work better for you, but to characterize all RD’s as being bought off by the food industry is a gross misstatement.

Andy Bellatti and Marion Nestle are two RD’s that don’t preach what you say they do. They are both against eating processed food and definitely are not bought out by the food industry. It’s a shame that you characterize all RD’s as part of some sort of evil plot.

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14 Rebecca August 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

Personally, I do not see a doctor. I have taken plenty of financial advice from people who are not certified to do so. I choose not to fly at all because I wish neither for unnecessary X-rays or being groped by someone who is not my husband. I see a mental health care professional that only has a masters and frequently seed advice from non-certified people. They frequently produce better advice. I have found lawyers (especially in a small town) to tell you whatever they think will lead you to giving them more money.
As a homeschooling mother, I have many people feel I should HAVE to check in with someone who is licensed to teach or that I should not be allowed to teach my own children. I have no complaints about their achievements but have many about the achievements of my bonus children who attend public school.
Being licensed doesn’t mean much to me. It means you passed tests. I like advice from people who produce results. I have gotten plenty of bad hair cuts from licensed people but not from my unlicensed mother-in-law who doesn’t charge me.
Laws are continually passed to make sure no one is not getting money to which they feel they are entitled. Examples include states not allowing consumption of raw dairy products (no taxes being paid by the people or company who drive milk trucks); Michigan fining a woman for allowing neighborhood children to come to her house after their parents left for work but before the bus arrived without a day care license even though she did not charge for this favor (no taxes being collected on the money she could have earned, or the money she took away from a daycare provider); the city of Oak Park, Michigan fining and threatening another woman with jail time for growing vegetables in her front yard after the city ripped out her lawn to replace underground pipes. Where to begin? She took money away from farmers, truck drivers, warehouse workers, stocking staff, cashiers, possibly a plastic bag producer, packaging companies. etc.
The point is people thinking and doing for themselves is a dangerous idea. One that the government fears and will try to stop.

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15 Jill August 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Hi Rachel,
As a nutritionist, I do feel that someone should have a degree to counsel others and get paid for it. As a blogger, I also feel that someone should be able to share their success with others with the same situation.

Yes, there are registered dieticians that are more progressive and don’t teach standard fare. However, the American Dietetics Association is funded by food industry corporations and they are trying to control the entire nutrition profession state by state. That’s the problem I have with them. They have an evil plot.

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16 Joy August 23, 2012 at 2:07 am

As long as a person is not falsely representing themselves as something they are not, we all should be allowed to tell our OWN story if we so choose. A disclaimer on the site is a good idea too.

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17 Elsa August 23, 2012 at 7:29 am

This is scary. I cannot believe he was silenced. If someone wants a certified nutritionist to council them, then they can find one. But some people want to try something different, and I really don’t see a problem with that.

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