This blows my mind!!!! Changing how people eat for the better is under scrutiny in Florida. This trainer helped her athletes become healthier and was penalized for it. The stupidity of this lawsuit makes me so angry. Thank goodness CrossFit HQ is taking this seriously and supporting the affiliate in fighting back. This is not over yet! Funny thing is, MDs in Ontario used to get in serious trouble if they talked about nutrition and supplements with their patients. Some even lost their licences to practice. Luckily that has changed quite a bit over the years, as it is recognized that nutrition and supplements play such an important part in people’s health. PREVENTION!!!! Rant over.
From Main site:
CrossFit has always recognized that nutrition is fundamental to health and fitness. In fact, CrossFit’s theoretical hierarchy of development “starts with nutrition,” as Greg Glassman wrote in 2002’s “What Is Fitness?” This awareness is reflected in the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course nutrition lecture, as well as the services CrossFit affiliates offer their members, which range from nutrition lectures to food logs and meal plans. Conversely, where nutrition is ignored, affiliates and their members make far less progress along the continuum from sickness to wellness to fitness.
Professional trainers sharing lifesaving information should not have to fear penalties, undue restrictions, or finding themselves on the wrong side of the law. Unfortunately, nutritional licensure laws criminalize this service in some U.S. states. In many jurisdictions, CrossFit trainers and affiliates have been discouraged from offering nutritional advice; in some cases, they have even been the victims of sting operations and threatened with jail time. To protect CrossFit trainers’ right to share essential information on nutrition and health, and the right of their clients to receive it, CrossFit, Inc. has lobbied against nutritional licensure in several states, notching several notable successes.
CrossFit faces stiff opposition in this fight for freedom of nutritional speech, however. This resistance comes in the form of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the lobbying body for registered dietitians, as well as the government officials and corporate sponsors who work with them.
Consider the case of CrossFit Level 2 Trainer Heather Kokesch Del Castillo. Del Castillo, the wife of a U.S. Air Force airman, moved from California, where nutrition speech is fully protected, to Florida, where it is highly restricted. The state of Florida subjected Del Castillo to an undercover sting operation, fined her, and threatened her with jail time if she continued providing nutritional advice (a Florida CrossFit affiliate was subjected to a similar ordeal in 2017 and changed their practice regarding nutrition recommendations as a result).
Del Castillo and her attorneys at the Institute for Justice “filed a federal First Amendment lawsuit in 2017 challenging this restriction on her speech.” CrossFit, Inc. supported the Institute for Justice in this suit as part of CrossFit’s commitment to defending the ability of CrossFit trainers to serve their clients without undue restrictions. Unfortunately, on July 17, 2019, federal judge Casey Rogers rejected Del Castillo’s suit. Judge Rogers based his decision on the dubious grounds that licensure “only implicates speech as part of the practice of dietetics, and its impact on speech is merely incidental to regulating who can practice.” Hence, Judge Rogers concluded, the law did not violate the First Amendment.
Two details from Rogers’ decision merit scrutiny. First, after decades of nutritional licensure, the dietetics lobby has failed to compile any evidence that licensure improves safety or quality. The judge did not cite a single study or even anecdote demonstrating any ill effects resulting from permitting individuals unlicensed by the AND or other restrictive bodies to give nutritional advice. Nonetheless, Rogers alleged that “a purported lack of empirical support or evidence for the DNPA (the licensure law) does not render the law invalid under rational basis review.” He cited the Locke vs. Shore decision, concluding that a licensure law “will not be invalid simply because the rationale for the law ‘seems tenuous.’”