11h 30m CPDConference

Linking Diet and Disease Conference

Two-Day Conference for Nurses


14 - 15 Jun 2021
Mercure Hotel Brisbane,
85-87 North Quay

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Why Attend

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 is related to their diet. Attend this conference to discover:

  • Health considerations when transitioning into a plant-based diet
  • When clean eating becomes a mental health issue
  • How fussy eating can lead to permanent damage
  • Why diets are not one-size-fits-all and much, much more…

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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Karen-Ann Clarke

Healthy Gut, Healthy Brain

Scurvy, a disease most commonly associated with pirates and seafarers, may cause psychiatric symptoms. This knowledge is one of the reasons why we now know that there is a relationship between gut health and mental health. This session will discuss:

  • How can improving gut health positively affect mental health?
  • What are the ways we can improve gut health?
  • Do probiotics help?
Amanda Fryer

Down in the Dumps: Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome is a condition commonly associated with gastric surgery caused by rapid gastric emptying. This session will discuss:

  • What are the symptoms of dumping syndrome?
  • How is dumping syndrome treated?
  • Is it possible to get dumping syndrome without surgery?
11:00 Morning Tea

Amanda Fryer

Curcumin and Its Effects on Health

Curcumin, one of the key active ingredients of turmeric, is currently the subject of significant research. This session will look at:

  • What are the potential health benefits of this ingredient?
  • What is current research and evidence saying?
  • Is there a possible future role for curcumin in human health?
Amanda Fryer

The Efficacy of Weight Loss Programs

This session 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)
1:00 Lunch and Networking

Johanna Dalton

Eating Disorders in Older Persons

Eating disorders are usually associated with young people, but it can also happen to our elderly patients who will be at a higher risk for serious complications. This session will discuss:

  • What are eating disorders and who is at risk?
  • Are eating disorders harder to spot in the elderly?
  • How can we tell if it’s an eating disorder or poor appetite?
  • Are there ways to prevent eating disorders from developing in older adults?
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Karen-Ann Clarke

Not So Clean Eating: Orthorexia

Orthorexia is not as well known as other eating disorders, and though it is not included in the DSM-5, it is becoming a recognised condition. This session will discuss:

  • What is orthorexia?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of orthorexia?
  • Why is orthorexia considered an eating disorder despite not being included in the DSM-5?
  • Is orthorexia tied to other mental health conditions?
  • Are there any treatments available for orthorexia?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two


All About Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is one of the most common forms of IBD. The severity of the disease can be unpredictable and can lead to severe flare-ups, which often results in hospitalisation and possible surgery. It’s fluctuating nature extensively impacts the patient emotionally, physically and socially. This session will further look into Crohn’s disease. It includes:

  • What is Crohn’s disease and what are the symptoms?
  • How does it typically present?
  • Crohn’s v ulcerative colitis
  • What is the treatment and management of Crohn’s Disease?
Professor Greg Kyle

Toxins in Food

Though some foods do contain toxins in small doses, these may cause issues if too much of it is consumed. This session discusses:

  • The range of toxic substances found in foods and their pharmacological and toxicological actions in humans
  • Where the toxins come from, their purpose in the plant and how exposure can be minimised, e.g. peeling, cooking, etc
  • The harmful effects in humans
11:00 Morning Tea


Being Vegan with Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities, which refer to both allergies and intolerances, can affect everyone, including our vegan patients. This session will discuss:

  • Why are vegans with food allergies at a higher risk of experiencing allergic reactions?
  • How can our vegan patients avoid allergens in their diet while staying healthy?
12:00 Lunch and Networking


Recognising Nutritional Deficiencies

From hair loss to gum disease, some worrying signs and symptoms may actually be a hidden nutritional deficiency. This session includes:

  • What are the common and uncommon signs of nutritional deficiencies?
  • Are there signs that may mimic another medical condition?
Linda Kilworth

Promoting Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular health issues have become prevalent in our communities. This session will look at ways we can promote cardiovascular health, and will discuss the following topics:

  • How important is lifestyle modification when it comes to preventing the rise or worsening of cardiovascular disease?
  • What can we do to promote cardiovascular health in persons who have already experienced cardiovascular events?
  • What are the possible challenges a nurse may face in promoting cardiovascular health?
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Alexandria Friend

Culture, Food and Chronic Illness

Promoting health in chronic illness often includes dietary changes. Achieving improved food habits must involve an understanding of and respect for a person’s culture. This session will review cultural and religious preferences in regard to optimising diets and includes:

  • The relationship between cultural groups and disease
  • Performing a culturally appropriate nutritional assessment
  • Cultural food habits and why they matter
  • Attitudes to health amongst different cultures
4:30 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 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 need to demonstrate nutritional literacy so as to assist a person to improve their health outcomes and importantly to 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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Karen-Ann Clarke

Dr Karen-Ann Clarke is a registered nurse and a specialised mental health nurse with 30 years’ experience of working with individuals and families impacted by the experience of mental illness. Using a feminist narrative methodology, her PhD research explored the way that women diagnosed with depression made decisions and meanings about receiving electroconvulsive therapy. As a lecturer in nursing at USC, Karen-Ann is responsible for the coordination of mental health curricula across multiple undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Teaching in excess of 900 undergraduate students each year, she is passionate about the value that immersive mental health simulation can bring to student’s learning and clinical skills and the way that it can safely bring to life theoretical concepts related to mental healthcare. Karen-Ann currently supervises a number of honours, masters and PhD students and is part of numerous research projects, involving visualisation and simulation, mental illness, suicide prevention and the inclusion of people with lived experience of mental illness into the teaching and learning space. Read More

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Gregory Kyle

Dr Greg Kyle is the professor of pharmacy and head of discipline for pharmacy at QUT. He has extensive pharmacy experience over almost 30 years pharmacy of practice spread across military pharmacy, hospital practice, consumer and professional drug information, community pharmacy ownership, consultant pharmacy and academia. Greg’s research interests lie in pharmacy professional services, extending scope of practice, integrating pharmacy more completely in the healthcare team, quality use of medicines and pharmacoepidemiology. He is passionate about teaching pharmacy practice and professional skills required in the modern world of pharmacy. His current projects include the pharmacist's role in travel, allied health prescribing, malnutrition in aged care, crushing medicines in aged care facilities and OTC medications in breastfeeding. Greg has completed four PhDs, Two research masters and three masters of clinical pharmacy research students. He has four research masters and eight PhDs in progress. Greg has received over $225 000 in competitive research funding. Greg commenced his appointment at QUT from the University of Canberra in January 2016, where he held course convener and head of discipline roles. He continues to remain professionally active, consulting for various organisations and explaining the complexities of medications in media interviews. Greg has served on the ACT Branch Committee and National Board of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Greg is clinical pharmacist who is passionate about pharmacist professional services, expanding scope of practice and utilising the pharmacist workforce to its full potential. Read More

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Alexandria Friend

Alexandria Friend is an accredited practising dietitian with Eat Smart Nutrition Consultants. Her workload involves private one-on-one consults, assisting patients of a psychiatric hospital with their nutrition and presentations of varying topics and audiences. The diversity of her role has allowed her to gain experience in a wide range of nutritional issues, including, but not limited to, weight concerns, chronic disease management, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorders, sports nutrition and mental health. She believes in a patient-centred approach, as there is no 'one-size-fits-all' when it comes to nutrition, and she takes pride in providing individualised care to each and every one of her patients. Read More

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Linda Kilworth

Linda Kilworth is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who works as a consultant to various health care agencies in Brisbane and south-east Queensland. She has experience in nutritional management and dietetic support, dietary planning, food service and management. Linda has broad experience lecturing to nurses. Read More

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Johanna Dalton

Johanna Dalton has over 15 years nursing experience in mental health, in both inpatient and community settings. Currently the coordinator of education and training for the Queensland Eating Disorder Service, Johanna is experienced, engaging and confident working with a variety of professional and community bodies to deliver education on awareness, prevention and treatment of eating disorders. She has published a number of articles, posters and presentations and is a credentialed mental health nurse. She is passionate about improving healthcare experiences and outcomes for clients and families who are affected by eating disorders. Read More

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Amanda Fryer

Amanda has been working in diabetes education for over 20 years. She's been involved in setting up a hospital diabetes service, educating nurses through conferences, and onsite in aged care facilities, developing resources to simplify learning. For the past 15 years, Amanda has been working in private practice. Due to the increasing number of people developing type 2 diabetes, and the lack of education and resources available to many of them, Amanda has seen too many people with uncontrolled diabetes developing complications. This has been generally due to them not knowing the questions to ask their health professionals or having the skills and knowledge to effectively manage their condition. Her focus now is reaching as many people with type 2 diabetes as possible through online education and resources, to ensure they become the drivers of their diabetes, not passengers, and stay healthy to live the life they’ve worked for. She’ll continue to educate nurses to ensure their patients and residents receive the highest quality of care when in their facilities. Read More

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To Be Determined

 Read More


14 - 15 Jun 2021


Mercure Hotel Brisbane
85-87 North Quay
Brisbane QLD,4000


$629.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

Events in other locations

14 - 15 Jun 2021
Mercure Hotel Brisbane
85-87 North Quay
Brisbane, QLD, 4000
25 - 26 Nov 2021
Venue TBA, Melbourne
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
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