This post has expired! It was posted more than 90 days ago.
<- Back

Linking Diet and Disease Conference

  • : Surry Hills NSW 2010

It’s easy to list foods in our diet and say whether they’re good for us or not, right? But – is it true? Is good or not true for all of us? And in what context, specifically? And, most importantly – WHY? As a population, we need to ask; how exactly is diet linked to disease? The growing relationship between chronic illness and food means that, increasingly, nurses are required to know how and why a person’s health needs to change. Modern thinking now suggests that striving to improve health is no longer as simple as “input versus output”. Attend this conference to learn how diet and disease are actually linked. Find out how you can realistically enable your patients to improve their health. Discover:

  • Why everything we put in our mouths is within our control
  • The brain’s response to an “obesogenic” environment
  • How the gut microbiome is connected to health
  • How successful medicines are for weight loss
  • Getting “buy-in” from patients who resist change and much, much more…
Schedule Day One



Welcome and Introductory Comments


Dr Vincent Ho

The Gut Microbiome – Where Does it All Begin?

The gut microbiome, a collection of trillions of mostly bacterial microorganisms, is increasingly being recognised as an integral part of the body. More is being revealed about this forgotten organ, especially in relation to the interplay between the gut and health. In particular, evidence now reveals the relationship between the early establishment of the gut microbiome and long-term immune and metabolic health. This introductory session will explain what helps and what hinders the development of the gut microbiome. It includes:

  • How is the gut microbiome connected to health?
  • When does the gut microbiome begin to develop?
  • How does early acquisition occur?
  • What interrupts the early assembly of the gut microbiome?
  • How might this affect long-term health?
  • What restores it – a look at the evidence?


Associate Professor Andrew Holmes

Linking Diet, Disease, and Microbes

Microbes are a major link between our diet and many diseases. We know that the metabolic and immune systems interact with diet, but what role do microbes play in determining if the outcomes are good or bad? This session will disentangle the hype from the hope around recent exciting discoveries in the microbiome field. It includes:

  • What is the connection between the immune and metabolic systems?
  • What we can and can't predict about how our diet will shape immune and metabolic health?
  • What is the potential for microbiome tests to inform patient care?



Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

We Are What we Eat – But What Influences Us?

We are responsible for moving the hand that feeds us, and thus it is our ultimate responsibility what goes on the fork. Do we actually know what we need to be doing and, if so, why are we getting it so very wrong? Learn what influences the nutrition decisions we make, from marketing, dieting, the weight control industry, to the mighty dollar. It’s time to consider:

  • Health and food literacy – do we know what is right or wrong anymore?
  • Financial factors and time – the actual time and cost of convenience food?
  • The magic of marketing …


Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

50 Shades of Fat…

Modern thinking suggests that it’s not just diet that causes disease. It’s not just food that lays down fat. Many factors create an “obesogenic” environment. Put simply, these environments encourage unhealthy foods and discourage activity. Along with psychological and biological input, our genetics, gut, and fat cells all send messages to the appetite and satiety centres in the hypothalamus. Could it be here that some of the damage is done? It’s time to dismantle the pathology of obesity. This session explains:

  • What does an “obesogenic” environment look like?
  • How are our genetics implicated and have environmental factors altered our genes?
  • What is happening in our gut and how does it respond to certain nutrients?
  • Neuropeptides - suppresses and stimulators of appetite?
  • How does the brain respond to obesogenic factors?
  • Finally, how this cascade can explain:
    • Insulin resistance
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Development of T2DM



Dr Nick Fuller

Why Diets Don’t Work!

Is Paleo as healthy as you think? Should I try the 5:2? Fad diets are very popular, especially as they are often endorsed by celebrities. However, do they actually lead to permanent weight loss or do they contribute to an ongoing spiral of ill health? This will cover:

  • The problem with fad diets
  • How people make decisions
  • The principles of the Paleo diet
  • Debunking food and exercise myths
  • What you should really be eating
  • Self-checks at home and more …



Dr Nick Fuller

The Efficacy of Weight Loss Programs

Following on from the previous session, the final session of day one will assess the various diet modification approaches and consider their relative merits. It will appraise various commercialised approaches including:

  • Low-fat approaches
  • Higher protein approaches
  • Low carbohydrate approaches
  • Glycaemic load dietary approaches
  • Dietary patterns (Mediterranean style, vegetarian and vegan, paleo etc.)
  • Meal replacements and liquid diets
  • Very low-calorie diets (VLCD)
  • Other approaches …


Day Two



Associate Professor Tim Wand

Self-Care … Setting the Standard for Success

Engaging and encouraging patients to make better health choices is difficult, especially if we are not making positive health choices ourselves. As role models, advocates, and educators of health, our clients and patients look to us for guidance and help. It is imperative that we care for ourselves first and foremost, in order care for others. Day two commences by serving a timely reminder about why self-care matters. It includes:

  • How can we develop self-awareness around our own wellbeing?
  • How can engaging in regular self-care activities help to position us as role models?
  • How do we actually practice what we preach?


Professor Margaret Morris

Linking Food and Mood

Fascinating research is challenging the paradigm that poor mental health can cause a poor diet. It is acknowledged that changes in mental health, such as stress or anxiety, can affect our dietary behaviours. Additionally, we are now beginning to understand how better-quality diets can improve a person’s mental health and perhaps even prevent mental health conditions. It’s time for nurses to seriously consider the relationship between nutrition and mental health. This session includes:

  • A look at maternal health and the impact of adverse events early in life – Where does it all begin?
  • Diet and depression – what’s the connection?
  • Stress, sugar, and saturated fat – is there a link?
  • What are nutraceuticals?



Dr Narelle Story

Bariatric Surgery – Weighing up the Pros and Cons

Bariatric surgical procedures are increasingly used as approaches for weight loss. However, when are they indicated, which type, for who, and why? This session will provide an overview of the surgical approaches to weight loss and include some of the pros and cons of various common procedures. It includes:

  • What are the indications for surgery?
  • Who are the best candidates and who should avoid surgery?
  • How do the different types of surgery vary?
  • What is the best way to discuss weight loss surgery with a patient?
  • What are key aspects to supporting patients across the preoperative period?



A Magic Pill? Medicines that Affect Weight

Some medicines can cause people to gain weight while others may assist people to lose weight. This session reviews some of the medicines that may be prescribed to promote weight loss. It includes:

  • Are there medicines that actually result in weight loss?
  • What is the success of weight loss medicines?
  • What are the side effects?
  • If there was a magic pill, what would it look like?



Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Getting “Buy-In” from Your Patients

Many nurses feel a shared sense of frustration that, despite the health education they can provide, patients resist taking this advice and making changes to their health. Are we going about health promotion in the wrong way? Are our needs being met rather than our patients? Sometimes we may be too eager to provide useful, practical tips to our patients. Despite our best intentions, are we failing to see what matters most to our patients? Is it time to use our reputation as one of the most trusted professions to go back to basics and build meaningful relationships? From here, anything is possible, right? Let’s discuss:

  • The power of unconditional positive regard
  • How to actually be non-judgmental (we’re all guilty)
  • Keeping goal setting and rewards simple
  • Motivational interviewing and how to know if your patient is ready to change their behaviour



Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

The Nurse Health Coach

Are you someone who gets a real kick out of seeing a patient have an “ah-ha!” moment? Do you have an amazing ability to connect well with patients? Have you ever thought about putting your talents to good use and becoming a health coach? We, as nurses, wear many different hats in our role, and health coaching is now increasingly seen as a part of nursing and a potential new horizon for nurses to explore professionally. This final session will open your mind to the possibility of being a “nurse health coach” and how you can apply your passion for your patients to help guide them towards better health.


The Goal Need for Program

The established connections between chronic illness and food mean that, increasingly, nurses are required to explain why and engage with patients to meaningfully improve their health. This ability to recognise and act on clinical indicators of impaired health as a result of diet is becoming a key feature of modern nursing. Nurses growingly need to demonstrate nutritional literacy so as to assist a person to improve their health outcomes, and, importantly, prevent and, in some cases, treat their disease. As people, often with the same questions and struggles as their patients, there’s a timely need to empower nurses to help themselves, in order to help others.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this conference is to examine the link between diet and disease and integrate this knowledge into nursing practice so as to improve health outcomes for patients.

Your learning outcomes:

Understand the broad link between certain foods and chronic illness and explain this to your patient

Use the data from a nutritional assessment to assist in the identification and improvement of a patient’s health status

Explain simple approaches to weight loss and maintenance to your patients to assist them to overcome barriers to weight loss

Combine holistic nursing and health coaching principles to engage with patients and enable them to improve their health outcomes


To Be Determined

To Be Determined


Vincent Ho

Vincent Ho

Dr Vincent Ho is an academic gastroenterologist based at the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, with a clinical appointment ... Read More

Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson is a Registered Nurse and has been a Credentialled Diabetes Educator since 2000. She has a demonstrated commitment ... Read More

Andrew Holmes

Andrew Holmes

Andrew Holmes has general interests in microbial diversity, its evolutionary origins and ecological applications. He did his PhD studies at ... Read More

Nick Fuller

Nick Fuller

Dr Nick Fuller brings together a diversity of skills having held positions in both the industry and academic sectors. His ... Read More

Tim Wand

Tim Wand

Tim Wand is an associate professor of mental health nursing at the University of Sydney and the Sydney Local Health ... Read More

Margaret Morris

Margaret Morris

Professor Margaret Morris heads pharmacology at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, where she leads the Environmental Determinants ... Read More

Narelle Story

Narelle Story

While working in the USA, Dr Story developed an interest in the surgical treatment of obesity. This led her to ... Read More

Linking Diet and Disease Conference
Speciality Classification
Interest Areas / Topics Covered
Provider Type
10 hours 45mins
Start Date
End Date
10 hours 45mins
Price Details
$590.00 (two days)
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Rydges Sydney Central, 28 Albion Street
Posted By
Contact Phone
Log in into view this field.
Location Map
Google Map