Hi Amy –
That’s a good question; and I’ve never looked-into the details before. I’m a full-time personal trainer at a corporate wellness center in the Dayton, Ohio area; and I’ve never researched Ohio laws before. After reading your question, I wanted to investigate, because I’m training in Ohio too.
It sounds like an ISSA certification will help you give general dietary recomendations I found a great document from the Ohio Board of Dietetics that specifically explains an answer to your question. On page 2, it addresses what an ISSA or other certificate allows the trainer to do. The website is:
It clearly states that even with that certification, we as personal trainers are not legally allowed to provide nutritional assesments, counseling or consultations.
So the certificate could be a nice way to learn more about dietary recommendations and references; but you couldn’t advertise that you provide nutritional consults, counseling or assesments. It doesn’t say you can’t offer dietary advice or recommendations, just no clinical counseling or consults.
Hope this helps; I’m glad I have that info being a trainer in Ohio too!
Julie is right, Amy, the real issue is ensuring your clients that what you are offering is general information. For instance, if someone has diabetes, it is important to make sure they are following the doctors orders. Find out what these are, and make suggestions within that framework, but never tell the client to do something against those orders.
For the general client, you can offer general suggestions.