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Linking Diet and Disease Conference

  • : Brisbane City QLD 4000


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…

chedule Day One



Welcome and Introductory Comments


Johanna Dalton

The Diet That Triggered an Eating Disorder – Discussing Diet and Exercise Safely

Before we explore the links between diet and disease, we must remember that a rising number of the population are at risk of developing an eating disorder when diet, exercise, and weight are put under the microscope. Eating disorders are a very dangerous and complex set of illnesses that have both significant (and often chronic) effects on the mental health and physical health of the sufferer. This introductory session aims to set us up to further explore the links between diet and disease in a harm minimising, holistic, and contemporary fashion. It includes:

  • What are eating disorders?
  • Who is at risk of having an eating disorder?
  • What are the effects of starvation?
  • How can we discuss diet in a safe manner without “triggering” disordered eating?


Emily Henry

We Are What We Eat – But Who’s Influencing 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, and to the mighty dollar.

  • 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…



Emily Henry

Beneath the Layers – How Does Your Patient Present?

There are many “red flags” that may indicate that your patient is presenting with diseases or conditions relating to their diet. What do you see? What do you ask? What are we looking for and how do we then initiate a productive conversation with our patients? This session will look at how your patient may present, and then you should be alert for. It includes:

  • What a nutrient analysis tells us
  • Chronic dieting and the eating disorder spectrum
  • Nutrition deficiencies and mental health
  • How gut issues, headaches, and skin complaints may be linked to diet


Emily Henry

Practical Approaches to Motivating Your Client to Health

We are physiologically and psychologically complex beings who, amid the ever-changing pseudo-nutrition advice, require a huge amount of nutrients from our ever-changing food supply. So, it’s no wonder we get it so wrong, so often. Learn what people need to know, and how to say it to command attention.

  • What do we really need to be eating to achieve optimal intake?
  • How do we explain this information to a patient?
  • Marketing the health message with sex appeal
  • The real issue – MOVEMENT



Emily Henry

A Practical Approach to Restoring Gut Health

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 once forgotten organ, particularly in relation to the interplay between the gut and health. This session will look at the evidence behind restoring and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. It includes practical approaches to improving gut health for yourself and your patients and discusses:

  • What is the gut microbiome?
  • What role does it play in health?
  • What is the evidence behind probiotics and prebiotics?



Dr Karen-Ann Clarke

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

At the core of many people’s struggle with health is an emotional trigger. This does not prevent good health from being achieved, but these emotional causes need to be understood and worked through if health goals are to be achieved. Understanding some of the common factors that affect a person’s mental health, we will gain an appreciation of how your patients can work through the following emotional triggers. It’s time to consider the relationship between mental health and physical health. It includes a look at the following:

  • Stress
  • Loneliness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Sleep disturbances


Day Two



Dr Karen-Ann Clarke

Linking Emotion and Food

We would all testify that our brains are able to create powerful links between our emotions and food. We are programmed from an early age to connect eating with so many emotions. These may be good, happy, warm, or detrimental emotions. Certain behaviours strengthen this relationship, for the better or for the worse. What does what we know about addiction and the brain mean in relation to what we eat? Can we reprogram our brain to create new pathways? This session looks at:

  • What’s the connection between the brain, addiction studies, and what we eat?
  • Can the brain be “rewired”
  • How could this knowledge help our patients/clients?


Amanda Fryer

Insulin Resistance – Causes & Consequences

A clear understanding of the causes and consequences of insulin resistance helps explain the link between diet and disease. More prevalent in people who are overweight, insulin resistance is a real risk factor for the development of diabetes and heart disease. Understanding this complicated condition is essential if chronic disease is to be averted. This session looks at:

  • What is the pathophysiology of insulin resistance?
  • Who is most at risk of developing the condition and can it be averted?
  • How does insulin resistance lead to metabolic syndrome and diabetes?
  • What are the current Guidelines for treatment of insulin resistance and does it work for everyone?



Dr Karen-Ann Clarke

Getting “Buy-In” from Your Patients

Many nurses may 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 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 a meaningful relationship? 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


Dr Karen-Ann Clarke

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 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.



Catherine Smith

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 have an impact on weight. It includes:

  • What is appropriate practice when prescribing weight-loss medicines?
  • What are medicines that are known to increase weight in the long term?
  • Is it possible to control weight when medicines slow metabolism?
  • What is the success of weight-loss medicines and what are the side effects?
  • What are the contraindications for prescribing weight affecting medicines?


Catherine Smith

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 new procedures are being offered?
  • What are key aspects of postoperative nursing care post bariatric surgery?



Jane Stanfield

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. This final session will serve as a timely reminder about why self-care matters. It includes:


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

Linking Diet and Disease Conference
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10 hours 45mins
10 hours 45mins
Brisbane City QLD 4000
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