Free Speech? — Paleo Diet Blogger Sues State For Trying To Regulate His Advice_Featured_, Diet Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
by April Fulton, National Public Radio
(NPR) The paleolithic diet has sparked plenty of discussion in the nutrition world (and on this web site) in the last few months. Lots of people are looking for advice on how to get in on this meat and vegetable-centric way of eating that claims inspiration from the simple wild foods a hunter-gatherer might have been lucky to find.
But when Steve Cooksey — a paleo-proponent who describes himself as formerly obese, sedentary and diabetic on his blog — heard from the state of North Carolina that his advice to readers violated a law against nutrition counseling without a license, he bit back. He filed a First Amendment lawsuit.
According to The New York Times:
“‘Cooksey’s advice,’ his lawyers wrote, ‘ultimately amounts to recommendations about what to buy at the grocery store — more steaks and avocados and less pasta, for example.’
“‘The First Amendment simply does not allow North Carolina to criminalize something as commonplace as advice about diet,’ they added.”
But that’s not how the state sees it. The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition posted a statement on its website about Cooksey, saying it had never harassed him — as some of Cooksey’s supporters had claimed — and noting that its mission is to “protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of North Carolina from harmful nutrition practice.”