5 September 2022 17:11

Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week

This week is Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week (BIEDAW) and we are committed to helping to raise awareness in our community.

According to Butterfly Foundation eating disorders impact over 1 million Australians each year with only 1 in 10 Australians able to recognise the signs of an eating disorder.  Butterfly Foundation is the national charity for all Australians impacted by eating disorders and body image issues, and for the families, friends and communities who support them.

During their campaign this week as part of the Eating Disorder Alliance Australia, they are encouraging people to act early – "because early intervention can have a marked difference on an eating disorder’s severity and duration." 

They remind us that "from teachers, to friends, parents and healthcare professionals – everyone has a part to play in early intervention of eating disorders."

It is important that we reduce the stigma and dispel the myths around body image and disordered eating and talk openly about how to identify the signs and support those at risk, including those more broadly affected. We encourage you to explore Butterfly Foundation's website and arm yourself with knowledge, resources and tips to ensure we are all playing our part in keeping our dance community happy and healthy.


The following information can be found on the Butterfly Foundation website here.

Who can I talk to?

If you or anyone you know is affected you can also contact the Butterfly Foundation's National Helpline for confidential and free support for eating disorders and body image concerns. Counsellors are available 7 days a week, 8am-midnight (AEST).

Call 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673), chat online or email support@butterfly.org.au


Specific advice for dancers

Principal Dietitian, Fumi Somehara from the DDD Centre for Recovery and Shane Jeffrey, Dietitian from River Oak Health, both presented at our Shaping Bodies, Shaping Minds conference in January 2020 and have kindly shared the presentation from the conference, as well as a number of other very useful information sheets providing Nutrition advice for dancers. The following resources are available for Members to download in our Members’ Area here.

For Teachers

  1. Enhancing performance, positive body image and lifelong health for dancers – Presented by Fumi Somehara and Shane Jeffrey  – Dance Nutrition
  2. Eating Disorders and Safe Dance – Fumi Somehara, Dietitian Presentation Slides from Ausdance NSW Safe Dance Think Tank – March 2020 –
  3. A back pocket guide to managing exercise during treatment – Shane Jeffrey, Dietitian
  4. A back pocket guide to developing positive food relationships – Shane Jeffrey, Dietitian

For Students

  1. How to Build a Good Relationship with Food and Optimise Performance – Fumi Somehara, DietitianDance Nutrition Article
  2. Myth Busting!  Fumi Somehara, Dietitian


Related Content

Why Dance Matters Podcast Episode 4 - Kathryn Morgan

American ballerina Kathryn Morgan opened up about her battle with eating disorders and mental health in our podcast series earlier this year. She spoke about the culture of professional ballet, its attitude to body image, and what needs to change.
Listen here