[When] Steve Cooksey...was hospitalized with diabetes in February 2009, he decided to avoid the fate of his grandmother, who eventually died of the disease. He embraced the low-carb, high-protein Paleo diet, also known as the “caveman” or “hunter-gatherer” diet. The diet, he said, made him drug- and insulin-free within 30 days. By May of that year, he had lost 45 pounds and decided to start a blog about his success.It's probably a safe assumption that most people don't pay much attention to diabetes issues unless they have it. The only reason I pay attention is because I'm the only one in my family blood line that doesn't have type II diabetes - and I'm closer than I'd like to be. If you don't follow it closely, you won't know there is a massive schism between people who proactively attack their diabetes in an attempt to escape the complications (virtually all amputations in the US are due to diabetes) and the dietary recommendations of the American Diabetes Association. The ADA recommends a diet high in carbohydrate in the form of "healthy whole grains", but the folks who attack the problem have (seems to me) all learned the best treatment is a low (or even zero) carbohydrate diet - the opposite of the ADA's approach. While the ADA recently published a magazine article saying, in essence, "shut up, take your medicine and do what we say", the people following the alternate theory end up getting off medications and even off insulin, like Cooksey. Seems to me that has to be safer.
But this past January the state diatetics and nutrition board decided Cooksey’s blog — Diabetes-Warrior.net — violated state law. The nutritional advice Cooksey provides on the site amounts to “practicing nutrition,” the board’s director says, and in North Carolina that’s something you need a license to do.
So Cooksey's crime was to contradict the ADA advice - even though he has a disclaimer on every page of his blog saying:
I am not a doctor, dietitian nor nutritionist… in fact I have no medical training of any kind. If I can figure this out so should they… if it wasn’t for their …(Copied from the bottom of his webpage).
A) Intellectual LazinessB) Willful ignoranceC) GreedD) All of the Above :)
Bouncing back to the original Reason article:
Charla Burill, the board’s director, told Carolina Journal she could not discuss the details of Cooksey’s case because his website is still under investigation, but agreed to talk about the law in the hypothetical....If you only knew the power of the Dark Side! Oops, sorry. Did I say that out loud?
Burill said [Cooksey's] disclaimer may not protect a nutrition blogger from the law.
“If I’ve given you reason to not worry that I don’t have a license because I have all these other reasons I’m an expert, you could still harm the public,” she said. “At least you’re not trying to mislead the public, but you’re trying to get the public to trust you.”....
Burill said if Cooksey refuses to come into compliance with the law, the board could file for an injunction.
Since Mr. Cooksey isn't made of money and is just an average blogger (like most of us), he has done just enough to comply with the North Carolina officials. Between you and me, I don't think there's much of a line between an opinionated blogger (I repeat myself) and a friend telling you they lost weight, feel great, and here's how they did it. Is the next step to monitor conversations and make people not talk unless it's approved by the board? What about the dozens of magazines on the newstand every month doing the same thing? What about Michelle Obama's nagging about "eating right"? What's the difference?