NEDIC's Biennial Conference

#NEDIC2019 was May 9th and 10th, 2019.

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Who is it for?


  • Elementary and Secondary School teachers
    Counseling and Guidance personnel
    Physical and Health educators
    Family Studies and Media Studies educators

Health Professionals

  • Nurses
    Community Health Workers and Social Workers
    Health Promoters, Policy makers and Researchers

Fitness & “Lifestyle” Personnel

  • Fitness Club instructors
    Coaches and trainers
    Parks and Recreation personnel
    Body Movement practitioners

General Public

  • Individuals affected by issues related to food and weight / body image / self-esteem
    Family members of persons affected by issues related to food and weight / body image / self-esteem
    Anyone with an interest in the topic areas

Presenting Sponsor 

Dove Self-Esteem Project

In partnership with

University of Toronto: Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education

Platinum Sponsor


Silver Sponsor

SickKids Foundation

Bronze Sponsors

Ontario Teachers' Insurance Plan
WaterStone Foundation

Community Evening Sponsor


Thank you to in-kind supporters

PSUNG Design

Hume Media Inc


  • 7:30 am to 8:30 am: Registration & Continental Breakfast  

    7:20 am to 8:00 am: Morning Yoga with Dianne Bondy 

    8:30 am to 8:50 am: Welcome & Opening Remarks

    9:00 am to 10:00 am: Plenary: Re-designing Fashion: Towards Body Justice - Ben Barry 

    10:00 am to 10:15 am: Morning Break  

    10:15 am to 11:45 am: Full Day Workshop 1, Part 1: Robust Relationships: Unpacking Fatphobia and Sizeism for Heartier Connections - Sookie Bardwell and Jennifer DePoe 
    10:15 am to 11:45 am: Parallel Session 1: Radical Trust: Unlearning Dominant Beliefs to Create Space for Healing - Andrea LaMarre and Carmen Cool 
    10:15 am to 11:45 am: Parallel Session 2: Unsafe as a Way of Life: Complex Trauma in the Development of Binge Eating Disorder - Amy Pershing and Chevese Turner 
    10:15 am to 11:45 am: Parallel Session 3: Unpacking School Nutrition Education - Andrea Kirkham, Courtney McAskile, and Leigh Underhill 
    10:15 am to 11:45 am: Parallel Session 4: Reconceptualising Sexuality to Better Understand Eating Disorders - Melissa Fabello 

    11:45 am  to 1:00 pm: Lunch (provided)   

    1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Keynote: Facing Ourselves: Using Radical Love to Move from Harm to Healing - Sonya Renee Taylor 

    2:00 pm to 3:00 pm: Poster Session and Networking  

    3:00 pm to 3:15 pm: Afternoon Break  

    3:15 pm to 4:30 pm: Full Day Workshop 1, Part 2: Robust Relationships: Unpacking Fatphobia and Sizeism for Heartier Connections - Sookie Bardwell and Jennifer DePoe 
    3:15 pm to 4:30 pm: Parallel Session 5: Yes, You Can Eat Dessert! Treatment Recommendations and Considerations in Co-Occurring BED + Type 2 Diabetes Meg Salvia 
    3:15 pm to 4:30 pm: Parallel Session 6: Walk the Talk: Self-Compassion for Frontline Professionals - Sachiko Nagasawa 
    3:15 pm to 4:30 pm: Parallel Session 7: Queering EDucation - Lee Thomas 
    3:15 pm to 4:30 pm: Parallel Session 8: Healing in the Margins: Using Arts-Based Interventions to Address Barriers to Treatment - Marbella Carlos 

    6:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Free Community Event: The Body Is Not An Apology with Sonya Renee 

  • Time Session Presenter(s) 
    7:30 am to 8:30 am: Registration & Continental Breakfast  

    8:30 am to 8:45 am: Welcome & Opening Remarks  

    8:45 am to 9:30 am: Morning Keynote: Follow My Voice - Gerry Kasten 
    9:30 am to 9:35 am: Brief Break  
    9:35 am to 10:20 am: Morning Keynote and Panel Discussion: Follow My Voice Panelists: Gerry Kasten, Leora Pinhas, Tierra Hohn, and Devan Nambiar 

    10:20 am to 10:35 am: Morning Break  

    10:35 am to 12:05 pm: Parallel Session 9: It Takes a Community: Developing Partnerships for Treatment Access for Marginalized Populations - Marcella Raimondo, Norman Kim, and Tiffany Rush-Wilson 
    10:35 am to 12:05 pm: Parallel Session 10: Providing Culturally and Clinically Competent Care for LGBT2SQGnC Persons - Devan Nambiar 
    10:35 am to 12:05 pm: Parallel Session 11: The "When" and "How" to Transition to Intuitive Eating in Eating Disorder Recovery - Shawna Melbourn, Dina Skaff, and Josee Sovinsky 
    10:35 am to 12:05 pm: Parallel Session 12: Who Controls the Message? Promoting Critical Media Literacy - Lorayne Robertson and Joli Scheidler-Benns 
    10:35 am to 12:05 pm: Parallel Session 13: Promoting Body Trust® in Your Work - Hilary Kinavey and Dana Sturtevant 

    12:05 pm to 1:15 pm: Lunch (provided)  

    1:15 pm to 2:30 pm: Afternoon Plenary: From Evidence-Based Practice to Praxis-Based Action: Raising the Bar by Unlearning our Limits - Lucy Aphramor 

    2:30 pm to 2:45 pm: Afternoon Break  

    2:45 pm to 4:00 pm: Parallel Session 14: Body Image in Female Youth Sports: Identifying Strategies to Quell Weight Commentary and Body Talk - Catherine Sabiston and Eva Pila 
    2:45 pm to 4:00 pm: Parallel Session 15: Supporting Eating Disorder Recovery in the Technological Age - Michelle Pitman, Andrea Miller, Lori Short-Zamudio, and Julie Sweeney 
    2:45 pm to 4:00 pm: Parallel Session 16: Solution-Focused Approaches To Answering The Weight-Loss Question: A Guide For Professionals - Annina Schmid 
    2:45 pm to 4:00 pm: Parallel Session 17: Innovative Initiatives: Positive Prevention through Partnership - Sara Santarossa and Luciana Rosu-Sieza 
    2:45 pm to 4:00 pm: Parallel Session 18: Relearning Communication - Emotion Focused Approach - Sue Huff 

    4:00 pm to 4:30 pm: Conference Close and Yoga with Dianne Bondy 

Additional Information

  • A Meta-Analytic Review of the Relationship Between Social Media Use and Body Image - Alyssa Saiphoo


    This meta-analytic review was conducted to clarify the relationship between social media use and body image. A meta-analysis of 63 independent samples investigating social media use and body image disturbance revealed a small, positive, and significant relationship. The strength of this relationship was dependent on the type of social media use, the aspect of body image measured, as well as sample characteristics. Implications of these findings will be presented.


    Alyssa is a PhD candidate in psychology at Ryerson University. Her research interests include: social comparisons, social media, and body image.

    The Moderating Role of Trait-Mindfulness in the Relationship between Perceived Discrimination and Self-Objectification among LGBTQ Community Members - Geneva Millett


    This project investigated the moderating effect of trait-mindfulness in the relationship between perceived discrimination and self-objectification in LGBTQ individuals. The results suggest that high levels of trait-mindfulness, and specifically the facet of non-reactivity, may weaken this relationship.


    Geneva is a second-year clinical psychology Master’s student at Ryerson University. Her research focuses on social support and mindfulness interventions in order to promote psychosocial and cognitive wellbeing.

    Self-Compassion Workshop: Evaluating the Utility within a Fitness Program- Keisha C. Gobin


    This program evaluation examines the usefulness of a self-compassion workshop for women engaged in a fitness program with regards to body image, self-esteem, and mood.


    Keisha is currently completing her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at York University. She specializes in eating disorders and body dissatisfaction. Her primary interest is in brief interventions and techniques to help distress women manage their body dissatisfaction.

    Body Dissatisfaction Following Upwards Social Comparison to an Instagram Model: The role of Perfectionism and Cognitive Coping - Sarah McComb


    This study experimentally tested if comparing oneself to a thin Instagram model elicits changes in one’s body satisfaction. It focused on examining if perfectionism was a significant predictor of young women’s body dissatisfaction resulting from an upwards appearance-based comparison to a model on Instagram. It also examined if cognitive coping mediated the relationship between perfectionism and body dissatisfaction.


    Sarah holds a Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Brock University. She is currently a clinical psychology Master's student at York University.

    An Adolescent’s Experience of Being Diagnosed with an Eating Disorder: An Arts-Informed Narrative Inquiry Self-Study -
    Sophia Lisak


    In this arts-informed Narrative Inquiry self-study, the presenter critically analyzed the impact of being diagnosed with an eating disorder during her adolescence and how this illness experience shaped her life as it is today, as a person and as a nurse. This study provides a window for healthcare professionals through which to gain an understanding of the impact of experiencing a stigmatized illness during adolescence and carrying that trauma into adulthood, and specifically into the healthcare profession.


    Sophia is a Master of Nursing student at Ryerson University. Under Dr. Jasna Schwind's supervision, she is completing her thesis titled, Personal illness experience of my adolescent self: An arts-informed Narrative Inquiry. Her research interests include personal illness experiences, relational practice, and mental health. Sophia is also a Registered Nurse, who works as a transitional care specialist at an acute care hospital in Toronto.

    Am I "Very" or "Extremely" Dissatisfied With My Body?: Variations in the Body Dissatisfaction Visual Analogue Scale - Lilach Dahoah Halevi


    When measuring state body dissatisfaction, researchers often use idiosyncratic versions of Visual Analogue Scales (VASs) that vary in their psychometric properties. The goal of this study was to create a large-scale summary of the all the variations seen in body dissatisfaction VASs to fully understand the extent of this variability across studies. While this study has shown that there is an unnecessary amount of variability in body dissatisfaction VASs and a lack of validity evidence to accompany those variations, it also uncovered the most psychometrically sound items and scales to be used in future research.


    Lilach is a Master’s student in the Psychological Science Program at Ryerson University. Under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Want, she is investigating the variability in psychometric properties of body dissatisfaction scales frequently used in her field of research and how it may influence participant responding. In addition, she is interested in the effects social media can have on our body image and general well-being.

    Weighing in on Body Positivity: Teacher Experiences Incorporating Body Positivity in their Practice - Julia Antonini


    The purpose of this study was to investigate how teachers are currently incorporating body positive messaging in their practice, both in the classroom and in the broader school community. It specifically aimed to gain insight into a) how they adopted this body positive mentality; b) how they have been implementing this in their practice; c) the resources they draw upon and d) the barriers and challenges of implementing body positivity.


    A recent Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Master of Teaching (MT) graduate and new secondary school teacher, Julia has always had a passion for eating disorder prevention and body positivity. Leveraging her experience working in the field of eating disorder prevention as a Clinical Research Project Assistant at The Hospital for Sick Children, she decided to dedicate her MT research to understanding how teachers are currently incorporating body positivity in their classroom. In addition to this, Julia also used to volunteer her time at NEDIC as a Community Outreach and Education Volunteer, and continues to look for opportunities to network and explore the subject further.

    Mind and body: The Relationship Between Classroom Emotions and Body Image - Devon Chazan


    This study explored how university students’ feelings about their bodies and emotions are experienced in the classroom. Students’ body image predicted up to 30% of the variation in levels of hopelessness, anxiety, and shame experienced in the university classroom. Academic interference experienced among students with body image disturbances will be further discussed.


    Devon is in the second year of her Master’s program in School and Clinical Child Psychology at the University of Alberta. She is an outreach and education volunteer for the Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta as well as a facilitator of an adolescent girls’ self-esteem building group at the YWCA. Her thesis research, housed in the Alberta Consortium for Motivation and Emotion, explores the relationship between students’ body image and their emotions experienced in a classroom setting.

    A Gender Examination of Perceptual and Attitudinal Components of Body Image - Kelly-Ann Albrecht*


    The purpose of this research was to explore any gender commonalities or differences associated with male and female body image. University students completed online questionnaires administered on various social media platforms measuring perceptual body image and attitudinal body image. A difference was found between males and females in perceptual aspects of body image; however no differences were found between their attitudinal aspects.


    Kelly-Ann graduated in the fall of 2017 from the University of Alberta with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology with First Class Honours. She completed an undergraduate thesis exploring the relationship between dream type and metaphoricity upon awakening under the supervision of Donald Kuiken. She currently works as a Child and Youth Enrollment Faciliator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and Area. She is currently assisting with research at the University of Alberta that studies the differences between attitudinal and perceptual factors related to body image.

    * This poster will be presented by Devon Chazan on behalf of Kelly-Ann Albrecht

    The New Body Shapes of Barbie: Exploring Young Girls’ Explicit and Implicit Perceptions of the New Dolls - Shauna Solomon-Krakus


    Researchers argue that Barbie’s unrealistic body shape can negatively affect young girls’ body image. In response to such criticism, Mattel® introduced Barbies with “tall”, “curvy” and “petite” body shapes as an attempt to promote body diversity. The purpose of the present investigation was to examine how girls aged 6 to 14 implicitly and explicitly perceive the new dolls. A body-part compatibility task was implemented where girls’ implicit “self-other matching” process were examined with different Barbie doll representations. Body-part compatibility effects were found for the original, curvy, and petite dolls, indicating that young girls implicitly engage in self-other matching processes when exposed to specific Barbies.


    Shauna is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her research examines the complex associations between personality psychopathology and eating pathology. Shauna first became interested in personality during her Master’s at McGill University where she studied mediating and moderating factors that impact the association between perfectionism and distress. Shauna has received several grants for her research and has managed numerous studies pertaining to body image, body-related self-conscious emotions, and sport and exercise psychology. Shauna has also volunteered at several eating disorder clinics including the McGill Eating Disorder Program (Montreal, QC) and Sheena’s Place (Toronto, ON) where she facilitated group workshops and conducted information interviews for individuals seeking eating disorder resources. Shauna is now completing one of her doctoral practicum placements at Toronto General Hospital’s Eating Disorder Program. As a prospective clinical psychologist, Shauna aims to specialize in the treatment of eating disorders where her research will continually inform her practice.

    The Impact of Group Music Therapy for Individuals with Eating Disorders: A Pilot Study - Priya Shah, Elizabeth Mitchell, Dr. Heidi Ahonen, Shannon Remers, Dr. Sherry Van Blyderveen


    This poster will present findings from a phenomenological research study examining the impact of group music therapy for individuals with eating disorders at an inpatient treatment facility between 2017 and 2018. A total of twenty-one participants between the ages of sixteen and fifty-eight participated in this study. Qualitative data was collected through transcriptions of audio-recorded sessions and group interviews. Three main themes will be explored, including: 1) how music represents the self and the recovery journey; 2) how music supports along the recovery journey; and 3) how music invites, allows, and sustains social connections.


    Priya is a recent Master of Music Therapy graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is actively pursuing accreditation as a Music Therapist and registration with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She completed a full-time internship at a mental health facility, facilitating individual and group music therapy sessions for individuals in treatment for eating disorders and mood and anxiety disorders. She conducted a clinical case study with her supervisor at this facility to examine the impact of group music therapy on individuals with eating disorders. Her areas of interest include mental health, oncology, the group process, and clinical improvisation.

    Elizabeth is a registered psychotherapist and accredited music therapist. She is Wilfrid Laurier University’s first “Music Therapist-in-Residence”, a position that encompasses teaching and supervising music therapy students at Laurier, conducting practice-based research, and working clinically at Homewood Health Centre. A PhD Candidate in the department of music education at Western University, Liz holds a master’s degree in music therapy and has extensive experience working in mental health settings with individuals of all ages.

    Heidi is a professor of music therapy at Wilfrid Laurier University and Director of the Manfred and Penny Conrad Institute for Music Therapy Research. She holds a a PhD from Joensuu University and is a registered psychotherapist and accredited music therapist.

    Shannon is a research analyst at Homewood Health Centre.

    Sherry obtained her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Simon Fraser University. She is a clinical psychologist and Director of Clinical Programming at Homewood Health Centre.

    Eating Disorder Literacy and Stigma in a Canadian sample - Isa Urrutia


    In the summer of 2018 NEDIC carried out a survey to investigate stigma and eating disorder literacy in Canada. In collaboration with the Canadian Eating Disorder Alliance, NEDIC launched a survey to assess a) eating disorder stigma and literacy across individuals employed in different professions, b) exposure to eating disorder information and/or training, c) comfort and self-assessed competence to support individuals experiencing eating disorders, and d) where individuals would seek for ED support. This poster presents a summary of the project findings, and issues recommendations based on these findings for the allocation of resources relating to eating disorder literacy.


    To come