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From: Mark Rifkin (rifkin.vegsource.com)
Subject:         Re: Holistic Nutrition?
Date: January 24, 2006 at 8:02 pm PST

In Reply to: Holistic Nutrition? posted by Margaret on January 24, 2006 at 2:45 pm:

Margaret,

Thanks for the nice compliment and excellent question. I'm not really sure how to define "holistic nutrition", as I think it means different things to different people. I can tell you it would likely involve some non-scientific principles.

I can also tell you, with some confidence, that no completely holistic nutrition programs are approved by the ADA (the same would likely apply to ADA's counterpart, the CBNS, as previously mentioned in other posts). The ADA-approved nutrition program at Bastyr University in WA state employs both conventional and holistic theories, so I understand.

Another important factor is the regulations of your state, which define who may provide nutrition counseling. In most states, the ADA and CBNS are used as de facto definers of legitimate nutrition education. Thus, holistic nutrition graduates are excluded from legally providing nutrition counseling in most states.

As previously mentioned in another post, some states enforce their regulations poorly; thus many unlicensed practitioners remain in practice. However, as nutrition's potential to prevent & reverse chronic disease becomes more recognized, I suspect many states will crack down on unlicensed practitioners. Also, insurance companies will eventually agree to reimburse for nutrition counseling, but will likely stipulate licensure requirements to receive reimbursement, reducing the unlicensed practitioner's market.

Therefore, if you want to counsel individuals (which is where the money is), completing a non-approved nutrition program is a waste of time and money. I encourage you to explore the webpages of approved programs mentioned in previous posts. On the other hand, if you merely want to conduct seminars and workshops (nutrition education), then holistic nutrition could be useful.

Hope that helps,
Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN

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