TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida health coach is suing the state Department of Health because she was forced to shut down her diet advice business.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Pensacola claims that the state is violating Heather Kokesch Del Castillo’s first amendment rights to free speech by not allowing her to talk with clients about nutrition.
While Del Castillo is certified as a health coach by a private organization, she isn’t a licensed nutritionist or dietitian, nor does she claim to be, according to the suit filed on her behalf by the Institute for Justice.
The suit says the state is denying her right to provide her opinion and advice to willing listeners.
The Department of Health spokeswoman Mara Gambineri said state law requires nutritionists and dietitians to be licensed and the department was simply enforcing the law.