Eating Disorder Experts Share Advice with Local Parents

Eating Tile

Nina James and Tara Sofair will provide a workshop for parents, teachers and carers of young people on 1 March at the HEART.

The transition back to school is still relatively fresh in my household.  Although the first few weeks are behind us, the start of the school year and return to routines can sometimes be rough!

Many of our young people are settling into a new school, a new class or even starting school for the first time.  With a teen and a pre-teen at the high school, I worry about the stresses my children face as they deal with the glamorisation of unrealistic (and unreal) body types on socials and worry about what I hear in parent circles and through my work with Mindful Margaret River. I’m deeply concerned about the rise in eating disorders in our community, in particular among primary school aged children.

The return to school routine can be welcomed by many families but for others, the return to the daily drudgery of packing lunch boxes and meal planning can increase stress levels for parents and children alike.  Personally, packing school lunch boxes is my least favorite domestic task.  When I heard from the Shire that local health professionals, Tara and Nina were keen to provide a free presentation to parents around preventing eating disorders and promoting positive relationships with food to young people, I jumped at the chance to learn more and help get this out to the wider community.

Erin Statz 2021
Mindful Margaret River’s Erin Statz says she is deeply concerned about the rise in eating disorders in our community, in particular among primary school aged children.

Nina is a Registered Nurse (RN) who works with sub-acute patients at Busselton Health Campus. She is a member of the Butterfly Collective, a network of people with lived experience of eating disorders, and is also one of the Team Leaders for the Butterfly Body Bright program at Margaret River Independent School.

Tara is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD). She educates clients about the non-diet approach and helps them to reconnect with their inner hunger and fullness cues in order to find sustainable and healthy ways to look after their bodies.  Tara’s passion is providing evidence-based advice to clients to help them navigate the overwhelming amount of weight-biased, and incorrect information available.  Helping to separate fact from fiction.

Tara and Nina are extremely passionate about this subject, both as health professionals and as individuals with a lived experience of disordered eating. They trained together to become Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellors in 2021 and share a passion for helping people recover from disordered eating and body image issues.

Did you know that eating disorders kill more Australians each year than our roads?

The statistics around eating disorders are increasingly troubling, as a growing number of young people are diagnosed with clinical eating disorders; and the age of onset of eating disorders is getting younger. In fact, the peak period for the onset of eating disorders is between the ages of 12 and 25.

It is also estimated that millions more people are living with body image issues and non-clinical disordered eating, both of which negatively affect physical health, mental health and put the individual at an increased risk of being diagnosed with a clinical eating disorder.

Providing young people with protective factors against negative body image and disordered eating is paramount in the prevention eating disorders. Tara and Nina want to help children maintain their positive attitudes towards their body, food and physical activity so they can focus on what really matters.

In response to the growing concern for the well-being of young people, Nina and Tara have developed a presentation to inform the community about this topic and provide practical tools that can be used at home.

They are delivering this presentation on the 1 March at 7pm at the Margaret River HEART.

This free workshop is for parents, caregivers, teachers, and community members who work with, or care for young people in the community. It will cover:

  • Eating disorders, what they are, the signs, and, how they develop
  • The relationship between eating disorders, body image and diet
  • How to get help if you are concerned about a child
  • What we can we do in our own homes to prevent negative body image and unhealthy eating behaviors
  • Information about school programs that address body image issues

If you are interested in learning more about how to promote healthy relationships with food for the young people in your life or want to learn more about where to go if you have concerns, this presentation is for you.

You can register for this event at

Nina is a Registered Nurse (RN) who works with sub-acute patients at Busselton Health Campus and is a mother of two girls (5 & 8 yrs).

Tara is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) who runs an online private practice and is the mother of two boys (2 & 5).

Erin Statz is a local mother of five (2, 12, 14, 22 & 25) and works for Mindful Margaret River.

Mindful Margaret River is a community group of volunteers who undertake local action to support social and emotional wellbeing in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

First published in the Augusta Margaret River Mail on the 21 February 2023

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