I'm about a month away from an MS in nutrition so you bet your sweet bippies I'll be charging for my advice eventually.
Groups like the ANA (American Nutrition Association), American College of Nutrition, and others are actively working against the ridiculous shenanigans the AND (formerly ADA, now American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics...the people who certify RDs/registered dieticians) is trying to pull.
It's all about $$ and don't think for a second it isn't. If they were so worried about the "safety" and "legitimacy" of anyone's advice, then they have to start showing me how fully credentialed CCNs (certified clinical nutritionists) and CNSs (certified nutrition specialists) have no idea what they're talking about. And these aren't licenses you can get out of a Cracker Jack box (do those even still exist?) or buy from a freaking diploma mill online. These are the real deal; they're just a completely separate track from the RDs. The AND is worried about folks like me encroaching on their sacred, protected territory. But why don't they ask themselves why so many people are turning to other kinds of practitioners? If they were so damn good at what they do, and their advice was helping so many get well, get fit, and get off meds, why would they feel so threatened? And like I said, these other licenses aren't bunk. They're legit. So the AND can not stand on firm ground claiming they're looking out for the public's best interest by silencing everyone who's not an RD.
And I really don't want to badmouth the RDs, because we have plenty of awesome ones right here at PH. But they're here despite everything they learned in school and what they're "supposed to" be telling people about how to eat, not because of it. They walk a slippery slope and some even risk loss of their license when they go against Big Brother's bible of low-fat and whole grains.
I don't want to hand out jello and monitor feeding tubes in hospitals, and I sure as heck don't want to be beholden to the food pyramid/plate/whatever the hell it is these days, so I intentionally chose the clinical nutrition track.
Sorry for the rant. Obviously this stuff strikes a nerve.
My point is: people are fighting it. With the rates of obesity and diabetes we have today, looks like the AND has made quite a track record for itself. If I were Desi, I'd say "Luuuucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!"