Dietitian Legislation & how it affects people with Celiac

PLEASE support Licensure for Dietitians in Virginia! (I don’t usually get political on my blog so please bear with me) There is a bill in the VA House of Delegates HB 345 (O’Bannon) regarding licensure of dietitians, and it is important to me that it passes.


Well, services for Celiac clients are up to each insurance company. Anthem has stated they won’t cover RDs in Virginia because we’re not licensed in Virginia (they cover in other states). That’s not fair, and clients with Anthem can’t get the support they deserve on a gluten-free diet. I’m all for people getting the support they need, & making it financially accessible.

I like the idea of greater regulation, because it means we’re held accountable. If an RD is reprimanded for malpractice  in DC or MD,  they’d have to stop working as an RD in those states, or can just move to VA & work here. That just doesn’t make sense

There are many groups fighting this bill, and I think it’s because they don’t understand what it’s intended to do.  It’s only intended to give RDs a scope of practice and regulate our actiosn.  It is designed NOT to restrict on anyone who is not an RD (aside from someone who isn’t an RD can’t say they are). It doesn’t keep anyone from teaching about nutrition, coaching, or selling supplements, or doing what they do. It simply insures that RDs practicing in VA have not received sanctions from the state, or any other state.  And it may help us get services covered by more insurance companies.

Health coaches, teachers, Weight watchers, etc.  are not affected by this law (see below)

And, because I’ve gotten questions, here’s the text:

§ 54.1-2956.16. Exceptions to requirements for licensure as a dietitian.
108 The licensure requirements for dietitians established pursuant to this chapter shall not apply to and a
109 license as a dietitian shall not be required for:
110 1. Any student performing activities related to an accredited educational program under the
111 supervision of a licensed dietitian or any person completing the supervised practice required for
112 licensure;
113 2. A registered dietetic technician working under the supervision and direction of a licensed
114 dietitian;
115 3. A government employee or a person under contract to the government acting within the scope of
116 such employment or contract;
117 4. Any health professional licensed or certified under this title engaged in the profession for which
118 he is licensed;
119 5. A certified teacher employed by or under contract to any public or private elementary or
120 secondary school or institution of higher learning;
3 of 3
121 6. Any person with management responsibility for food service department policies, procedures, or
122 outcomes in any food service department in any program or facility licensed by the Commonwealth;
123 7. A dietitian who is serving in the armed forces or the public health service of the United States or
124 is employed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and who engages in the practice of dietetics
125 provided such practice is related to such service or employment;
126 8. Any person or retailer who does not hold himself out to be a dietitian who furnishes general,
127 nonmedical nutrition information on food, food materials, or dietary supplements or on the marketing of
128 food, food materials, or dietary supplements; and
129 9. A person providing weight control services through a program that has been reviewed and
130 approved by and when consultation is available from a licensed dietitian, a dietician licensed in another
131 state that has licensure requirements at least as stringent as the requirements for licensure pursuant to
132 this chapter, a dietitian registered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of
133 Nutrition and Dietetics, or a successor organization thereof, or a physician licensed in the
134 Commonwealth. Program changes may not be initiated without prior approval of the program approver.

Sounds kinda reasonable, doesn’t it?

If you live in VA, you can find your district representative here: Click here to the Who’s My Legislator feature.  Enter your name and mailing address then click Lookup.  You will be directed to a form where you can send a message to both your Delegate and Senator simultaneously.

About Cheryl Harris

Life played a funny trick on me. I've studied nutrition for years, and much to my surprise, found out that I could manage many of my health issues via diet. I've been GF for years, and I've got a bunch of allergies and sensitivities. But it definitely doesn't keep me from cooking, baking and enjoying my food. Thanks for stopping by.
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