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A PRE-CERTIFICATION COURSE - Nutritional Guidelines for Treating Eating Disorders 101: What you need to know when treating eating disorders

Thursday, February 27, 2014: 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Banyan/Citrus (TradeWinds )

Background: This workshop outlines the dietitians role in treating the eating disorder population by providing basic guidelines on diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. The course focuses on fundamentals combined with updated research to address professionally the challenges and controversies surrounding the care of eating disorder patients.

I.            Understanding the DSM-IV and projected changes

    II.            Warning signs, observations and medical findings in eating disorders

  1. Family and friends observations
  2. Behavioral
  3. Rituals when eating
  4. Psychological signs

 III.            Medical Findings

 IV.            Theories on etiology

  1. Genetics
  2. Neurobiological
  3. Traits and Characteristics
  4. Starvation

    V.            Theories on treatment

  1. Multidisciplinary treatment
  2. Family Based Therapy
  3. Addiction Model
  4. Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness

 VI.            The Nature of eating disorders

  1. Emotional and behavioral components
  2. Spectral based disorder
  3. Family dynamics
  4. Co-morbidities
  5. Physical and Cognitive Restoration


  1. Assessments
    1. ED screening assessment tools
    2. Medical Decision for higher level of care
    3. Review purging behavior
    4. Review physical activity routines: type of activity, sessions per week, intensity and duration of exercise Obtain information about exercise compulsions or exercise purging behavior
    5. Assess level of counting calories; focusing on numbers, rigid food patterns, dietary extremes or missing food groups
    6. Vegetarian eating patterns which have not been part of the family norms


  1. Abnormal laboratory values Associated with eating disorders
    1. Nutritional assessment
    2. Assessing starvation
    3. Identifying those at risk for refeeding syndrome

 IX.            Role of the Treatment team and RD

  1. Best treatment practices for AN and BN
  2. CBT and DBT are effective once a person has initiated nutrition restoration
  3. RD should have training in therapy modalities to become more effective in delivery of nutrition advice, education and use of food events

    X.            Nutrition plan

  1. Once physically restored patients often want information about dining out, cooking, normal eating and sports nutrition
  2. Introducing normal eating
  3. Benefit from qualitative nutritional information
  4. AN: Disease Specific treatment
  5. Rate of weight gain adult and determining desirable body weight for growing children and adolescents
  6. BN & BED: Disease specific treatment
  7. Specific problems: diabetes; laxative abuse; allergies and gluten sensitivity; orthorexia

 XI.            Controversial topics

This introductory course in nutrition for the eating disorder patient is designed to educate those new to the field whether they are involved in seeing a few patients a year in private practice or becoming part of an integrated staff at a large treatment facility. Routine topics and challenges will be addressed which include treating the resistant and borderline patients, utilizing a family based therapy model, establishing goal weights, managing refeeding syndrome and diabetes, and resolving issues such as food addictions and food allergies. Dr. Carson, author of The Brain Fix, brings his 30 years of experience in treating patients, consulting with numerous treatment centers and lecturing to professionals around the world to present a highly entertaining and informative workshop on the basics.

Knowledge about nutritional aspects of food intake, eating behavior and weight regulation is essential if someone with an eating disorder is to recover. This program is designed to inform and empower clinicians who encounter eating disorders in their work and who do not currently possess eating disorder qualifications to add nutritional advice to their treatment for disordered eating.   You will learn why nutritional interventions are so important in working with these conditions, and learn how to integrate simple but effective nutritional approaches alongside other evidence based treatments for eating distress.

You will learn:

  • Why nutritional counseling is so important
  • How the body uses nutrients
  • How the body responds to dietary chaos
  • Simple steps correcting biochemical imbalances
  • How to communicate your knowledge to your clients to motivate change
  • How to learn what is useful from other sources and reject dietary myths
  • How to apply your learning to your own relationship with food

Most eating disordered patients believe themselves to be experts on the subject of nutrition; therefore, the job of effective patient counseling becomes even more challenging. This course presents both nutritional and physiological information in a thoroughly detailed manner. The compilation of concepts, techniques, and alternatives makes the workshop unique in style and content.

Primary Presenter:
Ralph E. Carson, RD, PhD

Dr. Carson has been involved in the clinical treatment of obesity and eating disorders for over 30 years. His unique background in medicine (BS Duke University and B. H. S. Duke University Medical School) coupled with nutrition and exercise (BS Oakwood College, Ph.D. Auburn University) has prepared him to integrate biophysiological intervention with proven psychotherapeutic treatment. He consults with eating disorder programs and presents at conferences around the world. Dr. Carson is an IAEDP board member. He has recently published Harnessing the Healing Power of Fruit.

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