In a significant victory for CrossFit affiliates, on June 30, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act (HB 1193), permitting CrossFit trainers across the state to provide nutrition guidance to their members and clients. Previously, Florida law only permitted dietitians and other select licensed professionals to provide nutrition recommendations to their clients.
As detailed in CrossFit, Inc.’s press release, CrossFit commends Florida’s legislature and governor for this much-needed action:
“We thank Governor DeSantis, the Florida Legislature, and the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Ingoglia and Sen. Albritton, for enacting the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act,” said Brett Ewer, spokesman for CrossFit, Inc. “They saw a problem: One licensed profession was harassing our trainers, and so many others, for providing basic nutrition advice. They saw it wasn’t right, and they stood up against this entrenched interest seeking to protect its market share. Floridians who are trying to become healthier deserve better than a monopoly — they deserve a choice.”
Florida’s Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Act was established in 1988. Since then, the Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Council has overseen and enforced regulations concerning who may give recommendations and guidance about diet, nutrition, and food to individuals for remuneration. The Act had required a license for any individual providing individualized diet and nutrition recommendations for remuneration. The Act now permits unlicensed persons to provide individualized dietary recommendations, as long as they do not do so for any client under the supervision of a medical doctor and do not make themselves out to be a dietitian. Previously, a person providing individualized nutrition recommendations for compensation would have been required to obtain a license from the state, which required the successful completion of an examination produced by a private entity, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR is an agency affiliated with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), a private organization representing dietitians.
The nutrition provisions in the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act come in response to a legal challenge to Florida’s dietetics law, waged by CrossFit trainer and health coach Heather Kokesch Del Castillo. In May 2017, Del Castillo was the subject of a sting operation conducted by the Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Council, which fined her $750 for the unlicensed practice of dietetics due to her provision of individualized dietary advice. In October 2017, Del Castillo challenged the fine in federal court. The suit is currently on appeal in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Florida’s nearly 500 CrossFit affiliates are locally owned and operated small businesses that make their communities healthier every day. They should not have been harassed, and they should have been free to offer nutrition guidance from the start,” Ewer said. “Now, because of the exemplary leadership of Gov. DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, we are confident that our affiliates and trainers can continue their fight against the chronic disease epidemic.”
CrossFit, Inc. has been actively engaged with this specific issue on behalf of its Florida affiliates and trainers for over two years and is proud to see this work pay off in victory. CrossFit will continue to fight to protect its affiliates’ and trainers’ rights to speak freely about the foundational elements of the CrossFit methodology and human health.
Comments on Florida Enacts Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act
It's the registered dietitians that have contributed to the obesity and metabolic syndrome epidemic in the USA. They are taught and continue to perpetuate the archaic and misguided government guidelines. They had their chance and they blew it. Thank you CrossFit and Governor DeSantis for having the good judgement and allowing common sense to prevail. Florida is in better hands now.
Licensing is no guarantee of competence. In fact licensing is designed to create a barrier to entry in many professions. By limiting the number of individuals practicing a profession, those with licenses are able to raise their prices. The law of supply and demand still applies. CF affiliates offering nutrition advice can now offer a one stop shop for both fitness and nutrition. Affiliates offering bad advice will be disciplined by unhappy customers who will take their business elsewhere and not offer positive endorsements. Governor DeSantis has struck a blow for freedom! CF owes him a debt of gratitude!
CrossFit trainers (without degrees or accredited training to offer nutritional advice). Is an encroachment on LICENSED DIETITIANS who have dedicated a significant amount of time to the practice by obtaining degrees and supervised internships. I hope the CrossFit, Inc. community hires actual Registered Dietitians to set standards and enforce safe practices.
Ironic that CrossFit requires an “affiliate” membership with level 1 certification to use CrossFit name and logos. But is going to allow unlicensed trainers give out nutrition advice in Florida.
It's the registered dietitians that have contributed to the obesity and metabolic syndrome epidemic in the USA. They are taught and continue to perpetuate the archaic and misguided government guidelines. They had their chance and they blew it. Thank you CrossFit and Governor DeSantis for having the good judgement and allowing common sense to prevail. Florida will is in better and healthier hands now.
Hi Dave... I don't see where anyone engaged you in constructive dialogue so thought I'd try.
This doesn't have to be confrontational as educated and certified dieticians still have an important role in healthcare. What this does allow, however, is for knowledgeable people to teach basic concepts of nutrition and provide basic constructive nutritional plans for most people.
When I started CrossFit in 2017 I was 190 pounds (I'm only 5'7". I had lost 10 pounds just through exercise but hit a wall I couldn't get past.
I bought into a nutritional program through my CrossFit box and in 12 weeks was done to 169lbs... During this time I continually got stronger as well... It aligned by meal times to work out times, taught portion control, balanced the macros I was consuming, etc.
Here in 2020... I'm 46. average 171-173 week over week, have relatively low body fat (yes, I have abs!) and have plenty of energy to do the active things I love doing.
Here's the rub... I didn't have complicated underlying health conditions... I just needed help understanding what I was eating compared to what I need to eat and that didn't involve eating less!
When we coach athlete who have complicated underlying health conditions, we work WITH their doctors and dieticians to be PART of the healing process.
A good coach understand the value of working together... and do good doctors and dieticians.
Great news! Looking forward to seeing the community free to benefit from more discussions about what good nutrition looks like.
This is incredibly dangerous and such a slap in the face to licensed and certified dietetic and nutrition professionals. These people often have masters degrees and along with 1200+ hours of hands on clinical experience. Shame on this governor and on anyone who gives reckless nutrition advice based on opinion. I’m sure CrossFit trainers all move with the highest integrity and won’t con vulnerable people who need nutrition advice from LICENSED PROFESSIONAL DIETITIANS.
This is awesome ! So glad to be able to see this positive change in legislation.
This is far from awesome. Can you imagine the uproar if planet fitness claimed they were a CrossFit gym? That is a terrible example but this is like someone with no relevant expertise giving someone life or death medical advice. There are people with underlying illnesses that maybe can’t handle the “recommended” diets an untrained person can give. How will this protect them? Lawsuits written all over this.
AWESOME, indeed. This is a big win for freedom to practice for professional CrossFit trainers in Florida and sets an example for anywhere that discussion of diet is restricted by licensure. Congratulations to Brett Ewer at CFHQ for leading the effort and thanks to Monique Ames, TJ Cooper, Danny Cajella, Heather Del Castillo and many others in Florida for their invaluable engagement.
What is it those affiliate fees go towards again? Good job, CF.
Wow! This is so awesome! Just this coming from HQ and keeping us up in it is the type of change that is so helpful!!
Florida Enacts Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act14