12h 15m CPDConference

Linking Diet and Disease Conference

2-Day Conference for Nurses

Linking Diet and Disease Melbourne - 2019


9 - 10 Dec 2019
Oaks On Collins ,
480 Collins St

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Why Attend

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
  • Obesity – is the brain addicted
  • Nutrition and the immune system
  • The link between weight gain and medicines
  • Therapeutic diets and much, much more…

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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Geoff Ahern

An Emotional Trigger – Understanding Physical and Mental 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. By understanding some of the common factors that affect a person’s mental health, we will gain an appreciation for 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
Geoff Ahern

Obesity – Is the Brain Addicted?

There is a clear link between food and mood, and we would testify that our brain is linked to our gut. 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?
10:30 Morning Tea

Geoff Ahern

Unconditional Positive Regard

Every day, research is uncovering more pieces of the puzzle that unlock the complexity of the brain, mind, and body. Many nurses feel frustration despite the efforts of health education. Are we going about health promotion the wrong way? Understanding and mapping out the unique pieces of the puzzle for each person is the key to better outcomes. Topics include:

  • A brief overview of all of the contributing factors
  • The power of unconditional positive regard
  • What really drives people to overeat?
  • 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 behavior
A/Prof Louis Roller

Lowering Cholesterol – Diet OR Statins

For many years people have argued whether the best solution to lowering cholesterol is to diet and exercise or to use statins? This session will look at the benefits of both treatments and how they differ in effectiveness. It includes:

  • What is the role of statins?
  • How do diet and exercise improve cholesterol?
  • Does one treatment outweigh the other when attempting to lower cholesterol?
  • Should your patient use both?
1:00 Lunch and Networking

A/Prof Louis Roller

Is Overeating Really the Problem – Weight Gain and Medicines

Weight gain is often associated with poor diet and lack of exercise. However, there are many factors that can contribute, such as medications. This session will look at the vicious cycle that exists with obesity and how it is a leading cause of chronic disease. It includes:

  • Strategies for weight reduction
  • Managing the side effects of the medicines used in the treatment of obesity
  • How to approach these issues sensitively with your patients
Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

The Facts on Fads: Do Fad Diets Work?

Ketogenic, low carb, and fasting diets have become more popular in recent times, but should we consider them for our patients? This session looks into current so-called fad diets and includes:

  • What are some examples of fad diets, and how do they work?
  • Do fad diets work for long-term weight management?
  • What are the possible side effects of fad diets?
  • Is it possible for a fad diet to be detrimental to a person's health?
3:45 Afternoon Tea

Kristen Adams

Therapeutic Diets – The Positives and Negatives

Therapeutic diets are increasingly becoming more common for the management of gastrointestinal disorders. This session will look into whether these changes in diet can negatively impact on nutrition. It includes:

  • When should a therapeutic diet be used?
  • How do these diets improve symptom management?
  • What are the consequences of these diets?
4:45 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two


What to Consume When Trying to Conceive

It is well known that folic acid is recommended for women trying to conceive; however, there is a range of benefits from many dietary considerations. This session will explore this.

  • What is the current evidence around dietary intake and fertility?
  • What would be considered a well-balanced diet for a woman trying to conceive?
  • Are there any foods we should be discouraging?
  • What are the dangers of a strict diet?

The Place of Nutritional Supplements in Health Care

Nutritional supplements are plastered all over the media every day, suggesting they are needed to maintain good health. Although many are relatively harmless and have some health:

  • What products are we talking about?
  • Herbal healing – does it work?
  • What does the evidence say and where do you find it?
  • Can prescription drugs cause deficiencies…and should you correct them?
11:00 Morning Tea


Not a Typical Diagnosis – Understanding Atypical Anorexia

Often, anorexia nervosa is associated with an unhealthy low weight range. This is not always the case. This session will explore atypical anorexia and the consequences that may occur when there is a poor relationship with food. Topics include:

  • What is atypical anorexia and how does it differ from “typical” anorexia nervosa?
  • What are the signs and symptoms?
  • What are the behaviors of someone with a poor relationship with food?
Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Dietary Adjustments in Type 1 and 2 Diabetes

Patients with a diagnosis of type 1 or 2 diabetes may benefit from certain nutritional approaches. However, with so much pseudo-nutrition advice available for consumption, how can we assess which approaches may best manage certain symptoms? This session considers the evidence behind these nutritional approaches and discusses:

  • Are there any differences between the dietary adjustments that need to be made by patients with Type 1 or 2 diabetes?
  • Is there a potential risk of adverse effects if persons with Type 1 or 2 diabetes follow fad diets?
1:30 Lunch and Networking

Tracy Thompson

Fading Away – Malnutrition in Older Adults

Evidence clearly shows that health and nutrition go hand-in-hand. As we age this becomes increasingly more significant when an older adult is sick or has been injured. This session will look at the effects of nutrition on an older adult and how malnutrition can quickly become a reality. It includes:

  • How does nutrition affect healing?
  • Does nutrition become more significant with age?
  • Why does malnutrition in older adults occur? Is it related to cognition or something else?
  • How can you prevent malnutrition in older adults?
3:30 Afternoon Tea

Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

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?
4:45 Close of Conference and Evaluations

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 time 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 link between certain eating patterns and chronic illness and how this is relevant to your patient
Know how to utilise nutrition assessment tools to assist in the identification and improvement of a patient’s health status
Explain which health behaviours are the most influential in improving long-term health and chronic disease management
Combine holistic nursing and health coaching principles to engage with patients and enable them to improve their health outcomes


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Louis Roller

Associate Professor Louis Roller has been an academic at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical ... Read More

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Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson is a registered nurse who has been a credentialed diabetes educator sinc... Read More

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Tracy Thompson

Tracy is a Dietitian (APD) & Nutritionist with a passion for the joy of food. Tracy specialises in u... Read More

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To Be Determined

... Read More

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Geoffrey Ahern

Geoffrey Ahern is a senior mental health clinician and educator who splits his time between working ... Read More

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Kristen Adams

Kristen Adams is an accredited practising dietitian who works as a grade 2 dietitian and general man... Read More


9 - 10 Dec 2019


Oaks On Collins
480 Collins St
Melbourne VIC,3000


$610.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

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