*This blog discussion is intended for educational purposes only and should not take the place of or supersede the advice of an attorney or legal counsel*
With rates of obesity continuing to be high, many people seek health coaches specifically to help them eat better and lose weight. However, legally this can be a very sticky scenario for health coaches because these areas can cross into the realm of dietitians and nutritionists. Remember, stay in your lane! So, you need to fully understand your boundaries in this area.
State Boards of Dietitian and Nutritionist Examiners generally set the regulations for clinical practice in these areas. Therefore, they set those boundaries for you. Because each state can set it’s own standards, it will be critical for you to understand the boundaries in your state. Also, remember that if you are providing Telehealth services for patients in other states, you will also need to know the regulations in those states.
How do you find the information for your state when different states use different names for their licensing boards? Google is a great resource! You will just need to try a variety of names, specific to your state, such as:
Health Licensing Board
Department of Health
Rules and Regulations for Licensed Healthcare Providers
Health Professional Board for Dietitians and Nutritionists
State Practice Act for Medicine, or Nursing, or Nutrition and Dietetics etc.
The other tricky area for health coaches is physical activity and exercise. We will discuss this in tomorrow’s blog!