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Three weight management case studies. Presented by Peta Cullis, APD.

By Anthea Talliopoulos, APD

With the prevalence of obesity increasing, weight management is one of the most common reasons for dietitian referral, with health professionals having varying approaches to client management. Many of our clients are often confused and overwhelmed by the mixed messages which they receive, sometimes making it difficult for us as dietitians to know where to start.

In this engaging presentation, Accredited Practising Dietitian Peta Cullis shares her expertise and experience through discussing her approach to the weight management of three of her clients. Each of the clients which Peta talks us through differ significantly- with varying comorbidities (including gastrointestinal concerns), health literacy, mental health concerns, motivation, relationship with food, and body image.

In each of these case studies, her approach to weight management varies, explaining the importance of counselling patients through the natural progression of change, motivation of change and in addressing ambivalence. She highlights the importance of setting both short-term and long-term goals through achievable targets, and in addressing these in a client-centred manner.

Thorough nutrition assessment is crucial to identify which diets clients have trialled in the past, screening them for their individual goals, and in meeting their individual needs. Ultimately, we must have a long-term focus wherever possible- remembering maintenance and consistency of client support is paramount in ensuring that weight loss is achieved in both a sustainable and effective manner.


  • Weight management is a complex and multifactorial dietetic area which is often oversimplified.
  • As clinicians, thoroughly assessing our clients and considering their individual requirements and preferences is crucial for long-term change.
  • Weight loss is a tool in the background which we might measure quantifiably, although focusing on the maintenance and sustainability of healthy behaviours should be our main priority as Dietitians.
  • Frequency of follow-up is crucial for the ongoing maintenance of healthy behaviours and in prevention of weight regain and relapse.

Peta Cullis has been practising dietetics for the past 11 years running her own private practice and now jointly managing a national dietetics company, Fuel Your Life where she is responsible for the clinical development of over 40+ dietitians. 

Peta has worked predominantly in private practice in a range of areas including paediatrics, family health, weight management, and complex gastrointestinal nutrition. In conjunction with the National Eating Disorders Collaboration, she is currently taking part in Australia’s first trial of a best practice, evidence-based approach to eating disorders treatment in a primary health network.

To register for the presentation and associated documents including the assessment quiz click here