Category Archives: Critical Dietetics Conference

Lifting Each Other Up

chicagosunsetAnd then it was over…

What a phenomenal conference! Thank you to the organizers at Dominican University: Jill White, Elisa Fischer, Joan DeAvilla, Yuka Asada and many many others who provided food, directions, and music. The people at this conference moved me.

To close our time together, I shared words inspired by Angela Odoms-Young’s provocative keynote, The Mis-Education of the Dietitian: “When we lift up the most uncritical of those among us, we are all lifted!”

I encourage everyone to carry the spirit of this conference by staying connected with those you met here and by connecting those who were not with us to Critical Dietetics on social media: TwitterFacebook, this blog, and Website (where you can register for free to become a “reader” of the Journal of Critical Dietetics). Let us grow and strengthen our community as we build momentum to our next gathering in Chester, UK hosted by Lucy Aphramor. Expect a call for abstracts before the end of 2014.

A wonderful surprise from our time at the conference was the jewellery sale facilitated by Kasia Tupta with assistance from Sanja Petrovic, Michelle Kwan, and Sarah Lynch. Sales of the magnificent jewellery (all made by dietetic students, interns, and practitioners) reached $350! Kasia wishes to earmark this money to assist a student or intern in attending next year’s conference. Thank you for your generosity!

And, finally, I would like to honour all those who took a Sustainer Pledge to provide financial resources in support of the Critical Dietetics movement:

  • Deanna Rondero
  • Briana Reamer
  • Catherine Gillespie
  • Michelle Kwan
  • Sanja Petrovic
  • Debbie MacLellan
  • Lucy Aphramor
  • LInda McDonald
  • Jacqui Gingras
  • Ella Trepanyko
  • Lily O’Hara

You are now members of this movement and we are very humbled by your support. Thank you! If you wish to take a Sustainer Pledge and become a member of the Critical Dietetics movement, we are going to set up an online process for you to do that in the coming weeks. If you wish to become a member, but can’t afford it at the moment, please email me. There are people who want to sponsor you! And, yes, it *is* very generous of them.

I look forward to being in touch with you in the weeks and months ahead.




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2nd International Critical Dietetics Conference: Call for Abstracts is now OPEN!

The 2nd International Critical Dietetics Conference is to take place in Sydney, Australia from September 1 – 2, 2012.

Abstract submission are welcome under the following headings:

1. Individual Papers (30 minutes): Please submit a 200-word abstract including the corresponding author’s name, title, affiliation, and email address, plus the names of any co-authors.

2. Symposium of Three Papers – Thematic Session (90 minutes): Please submit a thematic overview (100-200 words) of the symposium and three abstracts (200 words each; one for each of the three papers). Indicate the corresponding author’s name, title, affiliation, and email address, plus the names, titles and affiliations of the co-presenters.

3. Pecha kucha (20 slides of images to be shown for exactly 20 seconds each): Please submit a 200-word abstract including the author’s name, title, affiliation, and email address, plus the names of any co-presenters. Learn more about pecha kucha at: and

The deadline for electronic submission to is February 17, 2012. Presenters will be notified by mid – March. For further information, please contact:

Delegates attending the Second International Critical Dietetics Conference should note that the 16th International Congress of Dietetics will be taking place in Sydney from September 5-8th, 2012. See the ICD site for more details:

For more information, please visit:

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The Critical Dietetics Conference – An Eye Opener…

On August 19th and 20th 2011, I had the pleasure of attending the 1st International Critical Dietetics Conference. As a student of nutrition for three years now, I was presented with research, seminars and critical discussions on topics in dietetics and nutrition that I had never come across before in my nutrition studies.

I was excited about receiving the opportunity to present my pecha kucha: Artful Interpretations of Becoming Dietitian (for more information on pecha kucha, check out: I have not been to many conferences before, but never had I expected my art and story of my experience to be featured at a nutrition conference. There were several other pecha kuchas featured at the CD conference, each presented in other rooms simultaneously. Sharing through pecha kucha was a large portion of the conference. It amazed me how professionals were able to present their ideas through words and images shown each for 20 seconds each! A nice alternative to power point presentations – to which students like myself are far too used to.

However, like most conferences there were also presenters featured in the traditional speaking role there to share their research with an audience of questioning, critical thinkers. After each speaker, guests were invited to discuss their thoughts and opinions on the topic. What really captured my attention was the shift from the idea of “nutritionism”. In fact, presenters, researchers, professors and students alike were more interested in the social and cultural dimensions of nutrition and dietetic practice. Topics such as race in dietetic discourse, food security, the social determinants of health, food, issues of dietitians in training, horizontal violence amongst colleagues and perceptions of first year experience of nutrition were presented and discussed throughout both days. I have no other words to describe the work discussed and presented other than diverse, thought-provoking and overall an eye opening experience.

I think what was most profound for me throughout the two day conference was the fact that this conference was a fully inclusive environment. This was not a conference devoted solely to dietitians. Although called ‘The Critical Dietetics Conference’, professionals, students and teachers from diverse schools of thought were invited to take part and share their ideas and experiences with everyone. I had the opportunity to connect with individuals from different disciplines such as nursing, early childhood education, the arts and humanities, health and science professionals which were valuable relationships to build for future projects and research initiatives. I found it refreshing to hear the experiences and opinions on of others not in the field of nutrition. The concept of interdisciplinary collaboration is definitely a growing area of practice that the CD conference understood.

The next International Critical Dietetics is to take place in Sydney, Australia in September 2012. Stay tuned for future updates on that conference. We hope you will able to attend this exciting event!

Michelle Kwan

Student / learning enthusiast

Communications Coordinator

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