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Translating Research Into Public Health Policy and Practice: Multidisciplinary Case Studies Focused on Body Image and Eating Disorder Prevention

This course was updated 74 days ago. If you're about to take the exam, you may benefit from reviewing the exam questions listed below before starting on the actual exam.

About the Course:

There has been a recent call to shift focus for eating disorder prevention away from individual-level interventions to address broader systems that confer risk for disordered eating. However, this paradigm shift requires creative, non-traditional approaches to promote change. What strategies can eating disorder scholars, practitioners, and advocates adopt to mitigate risk on a population level? The proposed panel will introduce attendees to four different examples of science-to-policy translational work focused on reducing risk for eating disorders in three different countries: USA, Australia, and France. Presentation topics will include the following: 1) a Delphi study to develop consensus on strategies to address weight stigma in public health research and practice, 2) a multidisciplinary analysis of the “clean” eating trend and the legal and policy landscape for regulation, 3) a mixed methods investigation of a community-based, population level health service to prevent body dissatisfaction and disordered eating, and 4) a review of recent legislation and practice focusing on the use of labels on media imagery and the empirical data supporting different strategies. The panel will be moderated by a leading expert on eating disorder policy translation work. The panel will include short presentations (i.e., four 12-minute presentations, plus 3-minute question and answer sessions) followed by approximately 25 minutes for an interactive, collective brainstorming session. During this time, attendees will be presented with a target risk factor and asked to identify possibilities to reduce eating disorder risk in their home context through policy-translation research, coalition building with healthcare professionals and community advocates, or civic engagement with policy makers. The session will conclude with attendees sharing strategies identified during the brainstorming activity and planning next steps for action in their home setting.  

This course is based on the book, Translating Research Into Public Health Policy and Practice: Multidisciplinary Case Studies Focused on Body Image and Eating Disorder Prevention created by Suman Ambwani, PhD, Laura Hart, PhD, Lyza Narelle Norton, MND, Katelyn Ferreira, MPH, Rachel Rodgers, PhD, FAED, and S. Bryn Austin, ScD, FAED in 2020.

Publication Date:

Jun 2020

Course Material Authors

Suman Ambwani, PhD

Suman Ambwani received her Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical) from Texas A&M University and completed her clinical internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her scholarship has concentrated in the areas of eating disorders and weight management, personality and interpersonal functioning, and cross-cultural considerations in psychological assessment.

Her current research focuses on 1) the development and evaluation of guided self-help interventions for people with Anorexia Nervosa, and 2) understanding etiological and maintenance factors for eating-related psychopathology.

Laura Hart, PhD

Dr. Laura Hart is a post-doctoral research fellow working in the Population Mental Health Group at the University of Melbourne. Dr. Hart has began working in the field with Professor Tony Jorm as a Research Assistant developing guidelines on mental health first aid to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait people. She completed her doctoral thesis in Mental Health First Aid for Eating Disorders. After her PhD, she began researching and developing the “teen Mental Health First Aid” course, a new training program for adolescents aged 16-18, about how to help their friends. This evidence-based school training was designed with and for young people with mental health problems and their friends. Dr. Hart was awarded a beyondblue Early Career Researcher grant to evaluate the program in 2013 and an Australian Rotary Health Project Grant to conduct a randomised controlled trial from 2014-2016 in four Victorian Secondary Schools. She has been working closely with Mental Health First Aid Australia to launch the teen MHFA program nationally in 2014. Dr. Hart has also been involved in the national evaluation of the first edition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid program and its update to the second edition in 2012. Since 2012, Dr. Hart has also been completing a three-year postdoctoral research position at La Trobe University working on a program for parents of preschoolers to prevent body dissatisfaction, overweight and disordered eating developing childhood. The “Confident Body, Confident Child” program is being evaluated using a four-arm randomised controlled trial with 350 Victorian parents of children aged 2-6 years. The winner of multiple awards for outstanding research presentations, she is an experienced public speaker, regular presenter national and international scientific conferences, and often invited to facilitate workshops and planning days for NGOs. Dr. Hart’s research interests continue to include community-based mental health literacy programs to increase early intervention and prevention of mental illness. Her work also involves youth mental health, research translation, eating disorders and body image, parenting and suicide prevention.

Lyza Narelle Norton, MND
Katelyn Ferreira, MPH
Rachel Rodgers, PhD, FAED

Dr. Rachel Rodgers, Ph.D. is a researcher and clinical psychologist. She trained in the UK, France and Italy, and received her Ph.D. from the University Toulouse-le Mirail (France). She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, Boston, where she completed her Fulbright Fellowship in 2010-2011.

Dr. Rodgers is the author of over 50 journal articles and book chapters in the areas of body image, eating disorders, obesity, and related conditions, as well as the upcoming co-chair of the International Academy for Eating Disorders Body Image and Prevention Special Interest Group.

S. Bryn Austin, ScD, FAED

Dr. Austin is an award-winning researcher, teacher, and mentor. Her primary research is in the behavioral sciences and social epidemiology, addressing social and physical environmental influences on eating disorders risk, strategies for preventing eating disorders, and promotion of healthful eating, physical activity, and development in youth in school and community settings. Her research on eating disorders, nutrition, and the environment includes work with the Planet Health, 5-2-1-Go!, and Healthy Choices studies, all middle-school-based interventions to promote healthful nutrition and physical activity; the Growing Up Today Study 1 & 2, U.S. national prospective cohort studies that combined include over 27,000 youth; and the National Eating Disorders Screening Program, a screening initiative conducted in over 100 high schools nationwide to promote early identification and treatment for adolescents with eating disorder symptoms. She published two analyses based on data from independent randomized controlled trials demonstrating the protective effect of the Planet Health curriculum (created by Drs. Steven Gortmaker, PhD, Karen Peterson, ScD, Jean Wiecha, PhD, and Jill Carter, EdM www.planet-health.org) on the development of disordered weight control behaviors in early adolescent girls. She also conducted a study with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health economist Li Yan Wang, MBA, to estimate the substantial cost savings that could be achieved through Planet Health’s eating disorders protective effect.

Course Creator

Sandi Cardaman

Sandi Cardaman has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor for more than 15 years. She has worked with eating disorders, domestic violence and clients who are working with the dependency system.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe multiple approaches for science-to-policy translation work to reduce risk for eating disorders

  2. Identify opportunities and challenges associated with multidisciplinary research in eating disorder prevention

  3. Commit to at least one strategy for policy-translation research and/or policy advocacy to reduce eating disorder risk in their own home environments

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National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

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Course Number 102905
1.5 credit hour
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