I think it offers a very clear idea as to where the boundaries are for Personal Trainers. In a nut shell, Personal Trainers (that are not registered Dietitians or Doctors) cannot;
- prescribe diets or nutritional supplements to treat medical and clinical conditions;
- prescribe diets to treat symptoms of medical and clinical conditions;
- nor diagnose medical conditions.
In the week following I received some great input from Emma Robertson of Nutrition Training Australia. She says (in full)…
I just can’t help myself and have to comment on the Precision Nutrition (PN) article about fitness professionals giving nutrition advice. PN are generally on the money in my opinion (as a dietitian) with their behaviour change coaching approach to improving food choices. But John Berardi insists on continuing to push supplements & encourages the rest of the fitness industry to do so also!
“There’s a big issue with this, as there are entire textbooks dedicated to drug/herb/nutrient interactions and someone without a dietetic/ pharmacy/ medical degree just doesn’t have the skill to mitigate the potentially very high level of risk here. Then there’s the issue of how they are to work out what’s evidence based according to the literature without a science degree and the years of statistics & epidemiology that go with it… I have both a pharmacology degree and the nutrition & dietetic masters and still go back to the textbooks to check a supplements effect on liver enzymes and try to work out what potential effects it might have on metabolism of other drugs.
It really makes me sigh when people with a large platform oversimplify things like this and don’t realise the potential for harm!”
I would like to think that any Trainer advocating the use of supplements would, in the very least, establish whether a client is taking any other medication.
In any case, the prescription of any diet/supplement to even a healthy person, is best left to those with the formal qualifications to do so. It would seem to me to be an unnecessary increase in risk.
Please leave your comment below.
Personal Trainers, you might also like to check out some of the free resources that Emma has available for you here.