This is the Butterfly Podcast from the Butterfly Foundation, your national voice for people living with body image issues and eating disorders.
Professor Richard Newton: Let's Talk In Depth
Psychiatrist Richard Newton is an adjunct professor at Monash University, the clinical director of a large mental health service (that also serves as a teaching hospital), and serves on the boards of Butterfly and Wandi Nerida, Butterfly's residential treatment centre on the Sunshine Coast.
In this episode, he talks with Sam Ikin about how mental health conditions, including eating disorders, often co-occur. "One of the challenges of treating someone with an eating disorder is identifying the co-morbid mental health issues that we need to treat too."
What is healthy eating?
We live in a world where we're constantly marketed cheap, addictive "food" with very little nutritional value, and we've all heard about the public health impacts of that.
It's a situation that's led to a growing distrust of the food system, and increased fear of food. It's little wonder there's rapidly growing interest in "healthy eating", and it's why the diet industry has begun to systematically rebrand itself to be more about health and "wellness". But the industry is still fundamentally a weight loss industry, with a clear focus on restricting food intake.
Social media investigator Suku Sukunesan, Let's Talk in Depth
Social media is a huge driver of body image issues and young people are particularly at risk. Packed with unrealistic images and ideals, social platforms can be an incubator for mental illness - including eating disorders. But the problem is worse than most people think according to Swinburne University researcher in applied social technology Dr Suku Sukunesan.
Teens and body image: Starting at home
With so many developmental and even physical changes happening in their lives, teenagers are particularly vulnerable to body image issues. Spurred on by social media, they're constantly comparing themselves to others.
Having a positive body image can help teens to develop self-esteem, self-confidence, and to develop socially. It can lead to better mental and physical health later in life.
Paralympian Jessica Smith, Let's Talk in-Depth
Mental health was one of the major underlying issues laid bare at the Tokyo Olympics. While we all heard about high profile athletes and their struggles from a distance, Australian Swimmer Jessica Smith has lived through it. As a kid living with a disability, Jessica wanted to win gold for her country since she realised she could beat all the able-bodied swimmers at her school. It became more than a dream. Swimming was her life's work and her identity. In 2004 Jessica's went to the Athens Games as a favourite, only to have her Olympic Dreams shattered when her health, both mental and physical, failed her.
Jessica opens up about her struggles in this episode of Butterfly's Let's Talk In-Depth with host Sam Ikin.
Dealing with difficulties accessing care
It can take a lot of courage for someone living with an eating disorder to admit they need help. But all too often those who struggle are held back by a complex health system, a shortage of trained clinicians, GPs who don't pick up on the warning signs, and the high cost of treatment. That's over and above the ever-present myths that surround eating disorders.
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I love this podcast. It’s so informative and real. My only wish is that episodes were a bit longer.
What a difference this may have made to my life!
So fantastic that finally people are talking opening about eating disorders. After 38 years of living with anorexia I wouldn’t have a clue what normal would feel like. I have no doubt that this will have a massive impact on so many peoples lives. Maybe a show on chronic or long term people living with an ED could be covered in the future?
Love to hear a podcast on the lesser known ARFID . Fantastic podcast