The Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference held at the Outrigger Resort in Surfers Paradise from 18 – 19 May was a great opportunity to be reminded about the importance of positive body image. We all have our insecurities relating to our bodies; however some have more than others. This conference provided insights into the eating disorders facing many Australians, and allowed industry experts and practitioners to explore some of the associated issues, trends and dilemmas in today’s society, as well as possible solutions and ways forward in providing better services and care to those affected.
With over 40 presentations and sessions and 6 well known keynote speakers, this conference had a theme of “Finding Common Ground” which focused on the idea that in order for there to be a change in society’s “perfection” expectations and image focus everyone needs to work together to collaborate on shared goals and outcomes.
Psychiatrists, psychologists, dieticians, Doctors, Professors and industry professionals were all in attendance at the conference; as was Professor Cooke from the Butterfly Foundation, a national charity supporting those affected by eating disorders as well as their families and/or carers.
It was discussed that building self-esteem in young people is a major factor in reducing the number of people who grow up to suffer from eating disorders including anorexia, obesity, body dissatisfaction, depression and mental health. Sufferers include not only women but males too, and with Australia leading the world in the percentage of people suffering from obesity, this topic has never been more relevant.
In a world where there is such a focus on social media, image, the striving of perfection, media coverage of the latest celebrity diets, fads and “healthy eating”, the youth of today are subject to more pressures and expectations than ever before, and unfortunately this also coincides with the increases we are seeing in eating disorders.
The Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference brought together people in the know and gave a platform to open discussions surrounding the issues, and we here at the Hub want to thank all the speakers and everyone involved for an informative and insightful two days.
We will shortly be releasing a new section on our website for Health & Wellbeing showing our dedication to this wellness aspect of our being, highlighting practitioners in these areas.
If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder please see the links we have provided below that may be of help to you. Or, if there’s something you’d like to know, share, or find out, drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org