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Linking Diet and Disease Conference

  • : Brisbane City QLD 4000

It’s easy to list certain things in our diet and say if they’re good for us or not, right? But – who says? Is it true? Is it true to all of us? And in what context, specifically? And, most importantly – WHY? And 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 mouth is within our control
  • The brain’s response to an ‘obesogenic’ environment
  • How is the gut microbiome connected to health?
  • How successful are medicines for weight-loss?
  • Getting ’buy-in’ from patients who resist change and much, much more…

 Print Schedule

Day One



Welcome and Introductory Comments


Dr. Shelley Keating

Linking Diet, Disease and Activity

Before any conversation on the links between diet and disease begins, the impact and role of exercise needs to be considered. Diseases relating to diet seldom occur in isolation. Yet debate often leads to confusion if one method is more beneficial than the other. This introductory session starts the conversation by looking at how exercise, diet and disease are all linked to successful, long-term outcomes. Includes:

  • Diet vs exercise - what do we know?
  • What benefits may exercise bring in diet-related chronic diseases?
  • Do these benefits extend to other parts of the body?
  • Is there an optimal ‘dose’ of exercise?


Emily Henry

Lifestyle Decisions – The Choices We make

We are responsible for moving the hand that feeds us and thus it is our ultimate responsibility to make a choice about what goes on the fork that sits in that hand. 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 the mighty dollar.

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



Amanda Fryer

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 of the above-mentioned 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 - suppressors and stimulators of appetite?
  • The brain's response to these factors
  • Finally, how this cascade can explain:
    • Insulin resistance
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Development of T2DM


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 clues you should be alert for. Includes:

  • What does a nutrient analysis tell us?
  • Chronic dieting and the eating disorder spectrum
  • Nutrition deficiencies and mental health
  • Gut issues, headaches and skin complaints, and how these may be linked to diet



Emily Henry

Practical Approaches to Motivating Your Client to Health

We are physiologically and psychologically complex beings. We require a huge amount of nutrients from our ever-changing food supply and amid the ever-changing pseudo-nutrition advice. So, it’s no wonder we get it 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



Dr Paraic O Cuiv

The Secret Gut - Unlocking the Key to Illness?

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, particularly in relation to the interplay between the gut and health. For instance, diet, particularly poor diet, is recognised as having a negative impact on the balance of the microbiome. This fascinating session will look at what we know about the microbiome. Includes:

  • How is the gut microbiome connected to health?
  • What role does it play in digestion, metabolism, immune and mental health?
  • What causes dysbiosis - an imbalance of good and bad bacteria - are these changes also obesogenic?
  • What diseases are linked to dysbiosis?
  • Practical ways of restoring and maintaining a healthy microbiome


Day Two



Catherine Smith

Medicines that Affect Weight

Some medicines can cause people to gain weight whilst others may assist people to lose weight. This session reviews some of the medicines that have an impact on weight. 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?
  • Contraindications for prescribing weight affecting medicines




Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Interprofessional approaches to healthcare are highly beneficial in holistically managing a patient with complex health problems. From a psychologist we can begin to understand the various psychological and emotional barriers to achieving and maintaining health. 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. Using some common scenarios that are seen often by a psychologist working with patients and clients in this area, you will gain an appreciation of how your patients can work through the following emotional triggers:

  • Stress
  • Loneliness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Mental health conditions
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Sleep disturbances



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. The good news is that we can reprogram our brain to create new pathways. This session looks at:

  • What’s the connection between neuroplasticity and what we eat?
  • How can the brain be ‘rewired’
  • How could this knowledge help our patients / clients?



Amanda Fryer

Living with Ease, not Dis-ease - Self-Care for Nurses

Nursing is a hard profession as is - especially given the shift-work nature of our jobs. 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 session will serve a timely reminder about why self-care matters.


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 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 a meaningful relationship with our patients? 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



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 seen as an increasing 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 and help guide them towards better health.


The Goal Need for Program

The established connections between chronic illness and food means 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 for your patients to assist them in overcoming barriers

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


Amanda Fryer

Amanda Fryer

Amanda Fryer has been working in Diabetes Education for 20 years, and has been credentialled since 2000. From establishing the ... Read More

Emily Henry

Emily Henry

Emily Henry is an Accredited Nutritionist, Dietitian and Accredited Sports Dietitian. She has studied Sports Nutrition through the International Olympic ... Read More

Paraic O Cuiv

Paraic O Cuiv

Dr Paraic O Cuiv holds a PhD in microbiology and microbial genetics and a Bachelor of Science in biotechnology. ... Read More

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a Nurse Practitioner who runs an holistic weight loss clinic in Brisbane and who has worked within ... Read More

Karen-Ann Clarke

Karen-Ann Clarke

Karen-Ann Clarke is a Registered General and Mental Health Nurse. She has a Master's degree in Mental Health Nursing and ... Read More

Shelley Keating

Shelley Keating

Dr Shelley Keating is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Research on Exercise, Physical Activity and Health (CRExPAH), The ... Read More

To Be Determined

To Be Determined
Linking Diet and Disease Conference
Speciality Classification
Provider Type
10 hours 30 mins
Start Date
End Date
10 hours 30 mins
Price Details
$572.00 (two days)
Brisbane City QLD 4000
Brisbane Mercure Hotel Brisbane, 85-87 North Quay
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