Speaking Topics

Speaking Topics


Stop Bullying Your Body: Learn How Body Image Gets Its Start and How to Quiet the Bully Inside Your Head


Pitch Perfect: Turn Your Nutrition Expertise into Something to Talk About

Jessica Setnick believes that every dietitian has something to talk about. Each of us has a specific combination of nutrition expertise plus personal experience that’s unlike anyone else on the planet. How do you express what you have to offer so the right listeners want to hear it? Join us for this interactive webinar where Jessica will walk you through crafting your Unique Speaking Pitch and finding your perfect target audience.


The Anthropology of Eating

Why do two patients with the same eating disorder respond differently to treatment? Because they don’t have the same disease. Diagnostic criteria put them in a category by their symptoms but without considering the underlying cause. It’s time to replace this outdated model with a system based on how people actually recover – by getting treated for the source of the disorder itself, not just by trying to change their behavior. Like anthropology, which studies human development over time, this new model takes a person’s whole developmental history into account, setting the stage for a much more accurate and effective assessment and treatment path.

Beyond FBT: Promoting Recovery with an Expanded Circle of Support

Because eating disorders often thrive in isolation, recovery can be facilitated by attachment and connection. Yet in many cases, those surrounding the individual in recovery have their own wounds, both related and unrelated to the disease, and also deserve the support and resources needed to heal. For many of our patients, “family of origin” or “nuclear family” are unfamiliar concepts that have been replaced by “families of choice,” including romantic partners, roommates, step-families, foster parents, co-workers,  sponsors, peers, and others. This presentation will discuss how to engage the key players in each patient’s larger community and how to enlist them in supporting recovery, even when they are not physically present.


Eating Disorders 411: Practical Guidelines for Helping Patients with Eating Disorders


Dietitians of all stripes encounter patients with eating disorders, yet many dietitians cringe at the thought. Every dietitian, regardless of specialty area, needs three basic skills to be competent when faced with such a patient: The ability to tactfully approach problematic behaviors; the ability to draft a basic meal plan; and the ability to make appropriate referrals to additional care. This session will prepare attendees for these three tasks, with the goal of increasing confidence, competence, and outcomes.


What’s Eating Your Students?

Obesity and eating disorders: considered opposites, yet their causes and consequences are almost indistinguishable. Our culture’s diet mentality causes secret binge eating, substance abuse, ill health, crippling shame and trauma. This session is devoted to overhauling the way we talk to kids and teens about weight and eating issues to promote healing from both.

What’s Eating Your Clients? Managing Eating Disorders During Addiction Recovery

Dysfunctional eating behaviors often flare up and even substitute for substances of abuse during the initial stages of sobriety. Newly sober individuals use food for their oral fixation or drug of choice. Others turn to restrictive eating, over-exercise, or self-induced vomiting in attempts to control their weight. Faced with the option of confronting residents with eating issues or asking their clients to give up yet another comfort is a daunting task that many addiction professionals prefer to avoid. This session provides addiction counselors with shame-free and non-confrontational strategies to approach and assist clients to improve their nutrition and eating behaviors.


Nutrition Counseling Boundaries: Connecting with Patients without Practicing Psychotherapy

Dietitians tend to worry that listening more than we talk takes us out of our scope of practice and into the realm of psychotherapy. However results of new research show that former patients include the dietitian’s “listening ear” as a factor in their recovery along with more conventional nutrition knowledge and skills training. Jessica contrasts the role of the dietitian with the role of the psychotherapist so that attendees will feel secure that they are not overstepping bounds when they provide nutrition counseling, while empowering them to explore the web of influences on a patient’s eating. She highlights how to sift through a patient’s concerns to determine which are appropriate for nutrition interventions and which require a referral to mental health care.


From Abstinence to Relapse Prevention: Adapting Addiction Recovery Eating Strategies to Treat Eating Disorders

Dysfunctional eating behaviors have many facets in common with drug or other addictions, such as psychological dependence, habituation, withdrawal symptoms, cravings and shame. When eating behaviors are used to escape the daily routine or cope with difficult emotions, they can become habitual, chronic, ineffective, and destructive, just like addictions. So why not utilize the strategies of effective addiction treatment to help clients change their relationship with food? Rather than arguing for or against eating as an addiction, Jessica Setnick steps out of the conflict entirely, demonstrating how many addiction treatment strategies can be modified and used with success to promote and maintain the behavioral changes needed for eating recovery.


First Do No Harm: Dietitians’ Essential Role Identifying Binge Eating Disorder in the Weight Management Setting

Individuals with Binge Eating Disorder make up half of our weight management patients, yet traditional treatments backfire, leading to weight regain,disappointment and frustration. This presentation teaches RDs new strategies to promote success for the many individuals with Binge Eating Disorder.


When Good Nutrition Goes Bad: Orthorexia, the “Healthy” Eating Disorder

In our health-crazed culture, our clients are constantly bombarded with messages to “eat healthy.” Taken to the extreme when used as a response to emotional stress, or combined with the drive to excel, desperation for weight loss, or a tendency toward perfectionism, this otherwise healthy behavior can cause illness, injury, and worse. Where is the line between healthy and appropriate versus detrimental and dangerous? And how do we lead our clients back from the danger zone? Jessica Setnick will provide answers to both questions to help professionals identify orthorexic tendencies and support clients in moving away from a destructive illusion of health.


Managing Eating Disorders on Campus

College health professionals need a working knowledge of eating disorders and guidelines for evaluation, treatment, and when necessary, referral to additional care. This presentation provides symptom-based guidelines to match each student with an appropriate or preferred level of care, and the tools to develop a campus-specific protocol that involves all the players needed for a comprehensive eating disorders team.


Battling the Relationship Between Stress and Food: Assisting First Responders who Overeat to Manage Stress

Eating disorders are triggered by stress and trauma, daily factors for many service members. In addition to constant pressure to stay fit in order to perform effectively, many military personnel, police and firefighters must meet weight requirements to keep their jobs. Since food is a legal mood-altering chemical and self-induced vomiting doesn’t show up on a UA, binge eating followed by bulimia can be a tempting method of weight control and stress management and can spiral out of control without awareness or treatment. Those who are suspected of having a problem may be discouraged from seeking help for fear of being labeled unfit for duty. Our servicemen and women deserve better. This presentation will focus on the solutions – how to help individuals manage and when necessary, obtain additional treatment, for eating issues and disorders.


Picky Eating or Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder? How to Tell the Difference and When to Intervene


Throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence food preferences change and intersect with normal growth and development, identity exploration, differentiation from family of origin, and testing of boundaries. But how do we determine if when, what, and how much a youngster eats has become a maladaptive coping skill and/or an act of rebellion? And at what point do we intervene? This presentation will provide dietitians with guidelines and strategies to answer both questions and tools to use with children and families.


The Secret Sauce of Nutrition Counseling: How Dietitians Can Use Creativity to Enhance Eating Disorder Recovery

Savvy eating disorder dietitians blend culinary arts, nutritional science, behavior change strategies and interpersonal skills to motivate our patients to challenge and change their dysfunctional eating behaviors. A far cry from antiquated dietitian clichés, today’s eating disorder dietitians incorporate anything and everything from medical nutrition therapy to medicine wheels, carrots to karaoke, and exercise to x-ray vision. But thinking outside the traditional dietitian paradigm can leave us feeling exposed to criticism that we are practicing outside our scope, and feeling unsafe can stunt the creative process. This presentation takes you behind the scenes, using case studies to explore ways other dietitians are successfully using creative methods to promote eating disorder recovery, and will open the floor to discussion of the experiences, both positive and negative, of attendees.


Body Image Distortion 

Body image distortion is a symptom of many eating disorders and can also present as a distinct mental illness, body dysmorphic disorder. It has long been believed to be an effect of cultural pressure and low self-esteem, but recent research has shown a strong biological basis that responds to medication. Dietitians working in behavioral health and weight management will benefit from this new understanding of the biological influences on body image as well as strategies to help clients understand, improve and manage body image and related eating issues.


Food Fairy Tales: Change the Stories You Tell About Food and Leave Them Eating Happily Ever After


Patient noncompliance is an issue for all nutrition educators. Our training typically doesn’t help us identify the underlying issues that block our clients from making changes, leaving us frustrated when we see the potential for improvement that doesn’t occur. This workshop will give educators tools to identify subconscious beliefs that impair a client’s ability to change their eating, even when those changes are desirable. Identifying these underlying beliefs and bringing them to our clients’ attention can help refocus the clients’ energies on areas that will result in lasting change.