Government tries to shut down paleo diet blogger

"The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is threatening to send a blogger to jail for recounting publicly his battle against diabetes and encouraging others to follow his lifestyle."


  1. can’t he put a disclaimer at the top? “I AM NOT A CERTIFIED NUTRITIONIST, FOLLOW ADVICE AT YER OWN RISK.”

    I guess that’s giving in to the bullies tho. :-/

    1. He has that disclaimer. Doesn’t matter. The point is control of information and protecting a small monopoly, not protection of public health.

  2. There’s slightly more to it than him being just a blogger.  He was offering *paid* one-to-one support.  Effectively he was practicing medicine (sort-of) without a license.

    Of course, the idea that you need a license to be a dietician seems excessive to me. I understand why doctors need to be licensed, they are dolling out drugs and treatments, but the worst a dietician can do is give you bad advice on what to eat a bit deficient in something. 

    More info here –

      1. Not sure what your point is…

        In other news, McDonalds are still not offering dietary or medical advice to people.

        1. McDonald’s once advertised, I’m pretty sure in American Family Physician, for a set of brochures and other educational program for help doctors advise patients on diet.  I distinctly remember the ad, think the journal was in the 1980’s, well before the current push to have objects resembling healthy food on the menu.  Included handy product placement of McDonald product. 
          Cocomaan makes the good point that many are certainly offering dietary advice. Certainly every third book, and most women’s magazine and Men’s Health certainly do.

          1. Blimey, in that case I humbly retract my sarky comeback :)

            I shouldn’t be surprised, McD’s are one of the main sponsors of the London Olympics :/

          2. @paul,

            yeah,  I was pretty surprised that they felt had important nutritional advice to pass on too.  It may have been a pediatric journal as there was a kid character, and I think the line went that he was “the cool dude here to talk to you about food”.

    1. I understand why doctors need to be licensed, they are dolling out drugs and treatments, but the worst a dietician can do is give you bad advice on what to eat a bit deficient in something.

      Which, when done badly, kills diabetics and results in malnutrition or death in dependents, such as children or the elderly. There’s more than a few cases of this, and severe malnutrition causes permanent developmental and organ damage even if halted before it becomes fatal.

      People don’t just get a “bit” deficient from stupid advice and then realize their problem is malnutrition and suddenly wise up. They’re getting advice from someone because they don’t know any better, and they’re likely to go back to their “expert” when they feel ill, who may diagnose them with needing a “colon cleanse” or needing cheiropractic realignment or something else utterly unrelated to nutrition… or just that they need to do the special diet “more harder” because the “expert” doesn’t know enough about the subject either.

      Two idiots together, one callous, the other credulous, can become a walking disaster.

      1. Good point, I’d momentarily forgotten the diabetes bit (it’s been a very long day at work).

        That applies to most “alternative” medicine practitioners as well I should think. Do something stupid for long enough and it’s going to have an impact.

        1.  There was a legal case in the US about a mother putting a child with diabetes on some sort of diet (and taking her off the expensive medication) and the child dying, but I can’t remember the specifics.

          There was a horrific abuse case in the southwest states (I want to say California but I can’t swear to it) I think 5 or 10 years ago with parents who decided to feed their child nothing but watermelon and water his entire life, but I think that was less “on the advice of a pseudo-expert” and more a case of “free floating crazy ideas” lodging in the wrong skulls.

          A child with a problem like diabetes can die without getting anywhere near malnutrition so that’s probably most of the risk. One would hope most parents would recognize severe malnutrition before it gets too late (or a teacher or doctor or other community member will).

          1.  Oh yeah, I think know the second case you’re talking about. It happened in Utah (mostly) and the parents were feeding one kid (but not the other) only really light things like nuts and watermelon as you mentioned, because they claimed the kid was like the second coming of Christ and the dad was really schizo. And what really set off the media attention was that they kidnapped the kid from the hospital.

            Now I’m probably going to be trying to think of their name all week.

      2. Ah, all those dumb, stupid people wandering around, drooling on themselves, just waiting to be taken advantage of by some sharp eyed shark.

        Glad we have the likes of you to protect them from any non-certified information.

      1.  This reminds me of a joke a friend told me as I was recovering from emergency abdominal surgery to correct… well, I won’t go into the gory details, but suffice to say I had part of my intestine removed. She also had a bum GI tract and found it important enough to stop by and welcome me to the Semi-colon club.

        OK, maybe not as funny now, but goddamn hilarious when you’re on a morphine drip.

  3. I was hoping to find there was a law against being even more insufferable than a newly-minted vegan…

    1. That’s awesome! Did you know that the article is about Paleo, and that vegans are real, actual human beings? Not punchlines for hackneyed stereotypes disguised as hilarious jokes?

  4. threatening to send a blogger to jail for recounting publicly his battle against diabetes and encouraging others to follow his lifestyle

    Well, no. What they’re threatening to do is find him in violation of a statute that says you cannot practice dietetics, assess nutritional needs of others, or provide nutritional counseling without a license. Which does seem to be a reasonable precaution against a possible public health issue. And which he does in fact appear to be violating, after looking through his not-just-a-personal-blog website. So… this is more like the appropriate headline: “Local health authority fulfilling its remit within the bounds of the law & reason”

    1. This deference to authority is disgusting.

      He had plainly stated on his web site that he was not a medical professional and he was speaking only from his own personal experience.

      Who are you proposing to help? The answer: a bunch of people who don’t want to be helped, because they know full well the exact type of service they are getting.

      In our dystopian reality, any puncturing of the walls of the corrupt medical monopoly can only be seen as a ‘public health issue.’

  5. It would be interesting to see just how far the supreme court would allow First Amendment rights to overrule state-level professional licensure requirements(Something like being a real doctor, with pills and scalpels and stuff probably isn’t ‘speech’, but some ‘professions’ for which licenses are commonly required are, pretty arguably, almost entirely composed of activities that are clearly regarded as ‘speech’, like counseling and law).

    Given the fairly common acceptance of state licensing requirements, however silly, I suspect that he’ll have a bit of a problem…

  6. He wasn’t just blogging; he was assessing other’s health and diet, as well as  selling his assessment and counseling services to individuals.

    Nothing to see here, move along..

  7. Sometimes I hate my state.

    Some men just want to see the world burn, well it’s things like this that make me want to get to the front that line.

    And I’ll edit this just to point something out…up until someone in government makes a big stink about his website I’d never heard of it. I’ve heard of the diet and high protein/low carb diets before, and it’s not like there aren’t plenty of websites that promote them. If I had a medical license I think I’d find these people and remove their heads from their asses…

  8. “The board’s director says Cooksey has 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.”

    So I guess Ben Franklin would be shut down if he were here to blog “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  And to think, previously I was just worried about the number of legal disclaimers he’s have to tack on to the end of his advice.

  9. Someone giving medical advice that’s harmful? Yeah, clearly the government is the bad guy here.

Comments are closed.