Nutrition is a field in health sciences that deals with an individual’s diet (Wilson 6). It involves sustaining life with the adequate and appropriate food. Many illnesses are preventable with good observance of nutrition. A nutrition consultant is a person that practices nutrition. This is a person trained in all areas of nutrition and qualified to advise people on ways of improving their health. A nutrition consultant will recommend the appropriate diet and lifestyle changes that aim at improving life (Wilson 34). A certified nutrition consultant assesses an individual’s nutrition needs by examining their eating habits and lifestyle. Through this examination, the consultant is able to develop a tentative plan for the nutritional requirements of an individual. These requirements differ from one individual to another because people have different lifestyles.
Nutrition consultants face legal implications in their course of work. For an individual to qualify as a consultant, they must complete their nutrition program and pass all the required examinations. A person should be registered and get certification with the nutrition board to practice as a consultant. A nutrition consultant receives a license to be able to carry out the consultancy services. Failure to have a license, a nutritionist operates against the law and faces prosecution. A nutrition consultant has the obligation to protect the life of his/her clients to the best of their knowledge. When a nutritionist recommends a certain type of diet to a client, it is a matter of life and death. If the client relies on the recommendation and their life deteriorates, the nutrition consultant is responsible. The client could sue the nutrition consultant for the misconduct. This is because it is wrong under the law to give misleading guidelines when one knows that someone else will rely on them. There are stiff penalties for such misguidance such as withdrawal of license or paying the client heavy damages for the effect (Wilson 43).
A nutrition consultant evaluates the nutrition needs of many cases of medical conditions. With the advancement of technology, it is now easy to find relevant information from the internet on the best nutritional guidelines. Therefore, a nutritionist faces grave consequences with the law if one gives wrong information yet it is readily and widely available. In the case of a surgical patient, a nutritionist provides the diet for that patient that will restore their health. If the client follows the diet and the health deteriorates, the consultant is liable. Another sensitive area involves the health of diabetic patients. These patients rely on the guidelines of their nutritionist to sustain their life. Nutritionists who are not careful with the diet recommendations they give to these patients may shorten their lives. The consultant may face serious repercussions under the law. It is, therefore, important for nutrition consultants to be extremely cautious with their diet recommendations that they offer.
Nutrition consultants should take precautions to avoid the legal implications on them and their clients. A nutrition consultant should have the relevant education and pass all the examinations before practicing the profession. A nutritionist should have a license to practice in the profession. With advanced technology, it is now easier to keep abreast with the current information on the field of nutrition. A consultant should also register with a recognized board that recognizes nutritionists and clients have faith in them. A nutritional consultant should take these precautions to avoid falling on the wrong side of the law (Wilson 51). These precautions will also protect the clients who rely on the nutritionist for advice because they guarantee the safety of their health.
A nutritional consultant is a professional what should operate within the law. This is because the profession deals with the lives of people as a matter of life and death. Therefore, services offered above the law are punishable. It is possible for the nutritionist to operate within the law. A nutritionist should only give suggestions on the nutritional requirements of a person. The nutrition requirements here may involve recommending certain food supplements that a client can use to increase immunity. The consultant may recommend the fruits with high nutritional value to boost the health of a patient. Therefore, the work of a nutritionist is to give suggestions that a client chooses to follow. The consultant may be having knowledge on physiology or anatomy, but he/she should not diagnose any disease for the patient. It is against the law, as a nutrition consultant, to start analyzing the symptoms of disease that they suspect a patient suffers from.
A nutritionist should not declare that he/she could diagnose symptoms and cure diseases. The work of diagnosing diseases belongs to a doctor, and a nutritionist is not a doctor. A nutritional consultant only furnishes clients with the right nutritional information. A nutritional consultant cannot advise a patient to stop visiting a medical doctor or do away with their medicine. Wilson asserts that this will be beyond the boundaries of his/her profession and against the law (62). It is crucial for the nutritionist to provide only suggestions that will improve the lifestyle of clients to operate within the law. Nutritional consultants offering dietary services to clients should also register with an association that the law recognizes. This is because it could be illegal to operate on an individual basis. The law may require that all nutritionist operate under a registered association for better management. Therefore, a nutrition consultant will only practice within the law if registered under a recognized association.
Nutritional consultants find themselves in dangerous situations in the course of their profession. It is vital to take cautious measure to prevent such complications. Nutritional consultants can get into trouble from their way of communication. It is important for nutritionists to be careful with what they say. It is only a medical doctor who can diagnose and prescribe treatment for a disease that a client is suffering from. It is, therefore, dangerous for a nutritional consultant to give diagnosis to a client. The nutritionist should be non-partisan and cannot agree or disagree with a medical doctor as people may interpret this as diagnosis. A prudent nutritional consultant can avoid this danger by preserving his or her comments and using open statements in conversations. Nutritional consultants should be general and use statements that relate to their profession. A nutritionist could say, for instance, that balanced diet is essential for a healthy lifestyle (Wilson 72). This statement relates to nutrition and it does not suggest any diagnosis that the nutritionist is offering. In case a client starts talking about his/her ailments, a wise nutritionist diverts that information. The nutritionist should offer suggestions on the diet that the client can use to end some of those ailments, but not give a diagnosis.
A nutritional consultant should always remember that he or she is not a medical doctor. However, if a client asks questions about terminal disease, the nutritionist should be in a position to offer honest responses. The nutritionist should be careful not to sound like a doctor giving diagnosis. Clients need strength and support from their service providers and a nutritionist should offer the support. The nutritionist should remind the clients that the goal is not to treat, but to improve health through proper nutrition.
A nutritional consultant is a crucial person in the health of clients. However, he or she should operate within the law to lead a successful career.
Wilson, Lawrence. Legal Guidelines for Unlicensed Practitioners. New York: L.D. Wilson
Consultants, Inc., Print. 2005.