The 2018 National Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference will be held at Twin Towns Services Club over 27-28 September.

Joining us at this year’s conference is Miss Eleni Psillakis, Director at Brazengrowth who will present on ‘The Hashtag Fitspo – Empowering or Devouring the Sense of Self’.

Eleni Psillakis


According to Fitness Australia’s 2016 Profile of the Fitness Industry Workforce, the number of people employed as a Fitness Instructor, including teaching roles and personal trainers has more than doubled over the past decade. Additionally, Fitness Australia’s 2016 Consumer report shows that ‘18-34-year-old Australians have the highest rates of participation in fitness/gym activities nationwide, disproportionately above their representation in the population overall’.
Females aged 18-24 have the highest participation rates of fitness/gym activities in Australia and males in this age bracket have the second highest participation rate. These age and gender groups exactly correspond for the age and gender of highest risk for the development of an eating disorder

In this ‘insta’ saturated world, the hashtag “fitspo” is approaching 54 million posts at the time of writing this abstract. What messages are overtly or directly being projected and how are they received? Is mental, physical and social health supported by communication and programs for individual clients?

When does a desire to be ‘healthy’ cross the line to become ‘unhealthy’. This workshop is based on a lived experience and the results of a survey of the fitness industry’s understanding of how to identify and manage a client who may be at risk or suffering from an eating disorder.

Key Learnings:
1. Eating Disorders are more than “Body Image” Healthy V Unhealthy.
2. Behaviours that are communicated in social media and by the fitness industry.
3. How the fitness industry can encourage early intervention by allied health professionals for clients that may be at risk or suffering from an eating disorder.


Eleni Psillakis has paved the way for education on eating disorders for the Fitness Industry and in the community, based on her professional and lived experience. She has written a workshop called “Identifying and Managing Eating Disorders in the Fitness Industry”, which was approved by Fitness Australia for continuing education for fitness professionals. She has volunteered her time for 2 years working alongside the Inside Out Institute for Eating Disorders, reviewing their 2004 guidelines for the fitness industry. This involved conducting a survey of fitness professionals’ knowledge of eating disorders. Eleni has also written many articles for Inshape Newsflash online.

For more information on the upcoming 2018 National Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference and to register your place please visit






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