Under Georgia law, only a person licensed or "otherwise authorized to practice" shall be engaged in the practice of "dietetics."
The law defines this as the integration and application of principles derived from the sciences of nutrition, biochemistry, food, physiology, management, and behavioral and social sciences to achieve and maintain client health through the provision of nutrition care services. This includes: conducting an assessment of their nutrition needs, and dietary intake; establishing goals and objectives for nutritional needs; providing counseling and advising on appropriate nutritional intake; and developing, implementing or managing a nutrition care plan.
There are 3 main "umbrellas" a non-licensed nutrition professional can operate under, each with limitations:
Educational - providing general nutrition information/materials in one on one or group setting. This can be very helpful if you're already working in a related field.
Fitness - nutrition coaching to the generally “healthy” populace, without diagnosing or defining a disease or ailment; and
Partnership - working under a licensed professional OR getting a Master’s degree in Nutrition Science or related field to be exempt from licensure requirement; for example working with a Naturopath or Chiropractor.
Under this law you cannot advertise or be perceived as “assessing nutritional needs of individuals and groups” etc. You also cannot do or say anything that would give the impression that you are licensed, registered, or call yourself a nutritionist or dietitian.
If you are enrolled in an approved academic program in dietetics, you can practice dietetics under the supervision of a dietitian, dietetic technician, certified dietary manager, or dietetic aide. You can provide nutrition services as a student under the supervision of or in consultation with a dietitian. Direct employment is not required.
However, you may provide nutrition and dietetic therapy without a license if you are employed by any department, agency, or division of state, county, or local government if the practice is directed by a licensed dietitian. This also applies to the United States armed forces and any federal agency.
Religious practitioners are able to provide nutritional care according to religious tenets, as long as the practitioner does not label himself as a “dietitian” or any other misleading title.
If you are licensed in a separate medical profession, you can engage in the practice of dietetics if you do not call yourself a “dietitian.” This includes dentistry, medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic, nursing, or pharmacy.
You may also provide a general program for weight control without a license if it is reviewed by, consultation is available from, and no change to the program can be initiated without approval of a licensed or registered dietitian.
You can also market or distribute food, including, but not limited to operators and employees of health food stores or other similar licensed businesses, and provide information on food or dietary supplements. The law prevents you from providing oral or written explanation of the historical use, benefit, or preparation of such products which is intentionally deceptive or fraudulent. They also are prohibited from using the title “dietitian.”
Source: Title 43, Chapter 11A of the Georgia Code