29th International Conference & European Chapter of Academy for Eating Disorders Meeting, October 21-22, 2022


Ladies and Gentlemen!

We are pleased to present our preliminary congress programme for the International Congress on Eating Disorders including the European Chapter of the AED Meeting in Alpbach from 21-22 October 2022. Furthermore, we are pleased about your registrations for the congress and thank you for the numerous submissions of scientific contributions as well as workshops.




Please take into account that due to the currently unpredictable “travel/world situation” we are holding our congress hybrid and prefer a live presentation in Alpbach for the presentation of the papers. If it will not be possible to travel to Alpbach in autumn due to the “world situation” or for other reasons, we will of course support you with the technical implementation as an online presentation. We are going to keep you up to date on any requirements of the Ministry of Health or other information on our homepage.


We are looking forward to your registration and to a successful event with varied and exciting contributions of international experts in the field of eating disorders! Please contact us with any questions by phone, or by e-mail.


The Organizing Committee of the Association Network Eating Disorders






International Congress Eating Disorder




Prof. Dr. medical Martina de Zwaan

What role does psychological and physical comorbidity play in the treatment of eating disorders?

Comorbid mental disorders are the rule rather than the exception among patients. Depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders, ADHD and personality disorders are common, as are self-injurious behaviour and early traumatic experiences. Often the comorbid disorder occurs before the onset of the eating disorder (e.g. obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia). These disorders must be taken into account in therapy and the therapy plan must be individually adapted to the overall clinical picture. Physical illnesses must also be taken into account in patients with eating disorders. An example of this is the connection with type 1 diabetes (which usually begins before the eating disorder) and other autoimmune diseases. Patients with type 1 diabetes who also suffer from an eating disorder have a significantly worse course of type 1 diabetes. In the case of binge eating disorder, the possible development of type 2 diabetes must also be taken into account due to the frequently associated overweight.


About the person:

Prof. Dr. medical Martina de Zwaan is the director of the Clinic for Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy at the Hannover Medical School. In 1986 she received her doctorate in medicine from the University of Vienna and completed further training as a specialist in psychiatry and neurology as well as in cognitive and behavioral therapy in Vienna. She began her career as a senior physician at the Bad Bramstedt Psychosomatic Hospital, in order to subsequently obtain the Venia Docendi for Psychiatry at the University of Vienna in 1995 on the subject of binge eating disorders. She then moved to the Psychiatric University Clinic in Vienna as a senior physician until 2003 and in between held a visiting professorship at the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Neuroscience, AND School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Fargo (North Dakota). Furthermore, from 2003 to 2011 she headed the Psychosomatic and Psychotherapeutic Department of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. Her scientific focus is on eating disorders and obesity, psychological aspects in obesity surgery, psychosomatics in transplantation medicine and the development and validation of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs)


Dr. Helga Simchen

Eating disorders in AD(H)D

AD(H)S as a genetically and neurobiologically caused impairment of information processing affects all cognitive abilities, emotional control, behaviour formation and motor skills. The cause is an under-functioning of various areas of the brain, as well as a lack of neurotransmitters.
Under special conditions, AD(H)S-related stress intolerance can promote the development of various eating disorders, the most severe of which is anorexia. In this case, those affected direct their thoughts and actions towards a goal that is achievable for them: losing weight. This improves their AD(H)S-related and impaired self-esteem and their psychological stability. Therefore, they want to and can only with difficulty give up this achieved goal again; it has become part of their personality.
Stress, strong blood sugar fluctuations, impulse control weakness and automation of the vomiting process form the psychodynamics of AD(H)S-related bulimia. Vomiting to prevent weight gain, if constantly repeated, can become automated.
If eating serves to reduce stress and to reward, eating in AD(H)S can lead to binge eating, because eating then activates the reward system.
How are these three very different AD(H)S-related eating disorders treated and what are the special therapeutic features?


About the person:

Dr. Helga Simchen is a pediatrician specializing in neurology and psychiatry in children and adolescents, behavioral therapist, deep psychological psychotherapy and family therapy. She first worked as a senior physician in a children’s clinic, then switched to the Medical Academy Magdeburg as a senior physician with a teaching position in neurology and psychiatry Childhood and adolescence as well as rehabilitation education. The focus of her scientific work was the hyperkinetic syndrome and dyslexia, in which she worked closely with the Leibnitz Institute, formerly the Brain Research Institute. In 1995 she opened her practice in Mainz with a focus on AD(H)S, learning and behavioral disorders. She has now written down the experiences she has had in her practice with over 1000 patients in 7 books on AD(H)S and its comorbidities.


Ricardo Dalle Grave M.D.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents with Eating Disorders: An Effective Alternative to Family-Based Treatment

Enhanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT-E), originally designed for the treatment of adult patients with eating disorders, has demonstrated efficacy in adults with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). CBT-E has recently been adapted for use with adolescents with eating disorders, and its effectiveness has been evaluated in cohort studies of patients aged between 13 and 19 years. Two studies included adolescents with severe AN, and one was of adolescents who were not underweight with other eating disorders. The promising results obtained by these studies led the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to recommend CBT-E for adolescence as an alternative to Family Based Treatment (FBT) both for AN and BN. A recent trial has also shown that CBT-E achieved a similar outcome of FBT at 6- and 12-month. CBT-E has several advantages. It is acceptable to young people, and its collaborative nature is well suited to ambivalent young patients who may be particularly concerned about control issues. The transdiagnostic scope of the treatment is an advantage as it can treat the full range of disorders that occur in adolescent patients. Three main challenges need to be addressed in the future:

  1. To establish further the utility of CBT-E (e.g., clarifying the relative effectiveness of CBT-E and FBT in the treatment of younger patients and identifying moderators of the effects of CBT-E)
  2. To increase the effectiveness of CBT-E (e.g., to identifying the mediators of the effects of CBT-E to make the treatment more effective and efficient)
  3. To maximize the availability of CBT-E using modern technology (e.g., training more therapists using digital training and making CBT-E more scalable implementing digital treatment).


About the person:

As director of the Department of Eating and Weight Disorders at the Villa Garda Hospital in Verona, Italy, he developed his own treatment method for inpatients with eating disorders together with Christopher G. Fairburn from Oxford University. It includes a program adapted for adolescents, with its main focus of research being CBT-E in the treatment of adolescents and adults with eating disorders who are severely underweight. His projects include prevention work for eating disorders and obesity. He is regularly recognized for conducting public workshops and seminars for clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, surgeons, nutritionists and other health professionals on the nature and treatment of obesity and eating disorders, both in Italy and around the world. dr Dalle Grave is a member of the CBT-E training group and has been recognized by Expertscape as an Expert in Anorexia Nervosa. He is also the editor of the CBT-E website and director of the Italian Advanced Training Courses in the Treatment and Prevention of Eating Disorders and Obesity, which trains clinicians in cognitive behavioral therapy for eating disorders and obesity. He also provides expert CBT-E supervision for clinical services in Europe, USA, Australia and the Middle East. He is a fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders and serves on the editorial board of all journals devoted to eating disorders.

Carine el Khazen, DESS, DEA, FAED

Eating Disorders in the Middle-East and in a Middle-Eastern Population

For decades, eating disorders were seen as a mainly Western phenomenon with scarce research in other parts of the world. Over time, this has changed with clinicians and researchers alike acknowledging that eating disorders can affect anyone across the world. Recently, awareness about eating disorders has become more common in the Middle East, and more research is being conducted on this topic in the region. However, there are still many challenges to be faced by those who suffer from eating disorders including getting the proper diagnosis, treatment, and follow up.

Today, though there are no official prevalence numbers, preliminary surveys of cases of eating disorders in the Middle East, has shown that the rates in the Middle East are rising and seem to be twice as high as in the western world. Many possible factors could be contributing to the rise of these numbers, notably the turbulent geo-political situation which will be described briefly to give context as well as the socio-cultural changes due to the region’s westernization. The purpose of this presentation is to present the region, the current data available regarding the prevalence of eating disorders, then discuss how the Middle-East’s instability could explain the recent rise in the rates of these disorders. We will also present the region’s situation in terms of specialized treatments and level of awareness as well as the challenges encountered as eating disorders practitioners.

We will also present and discuss the special considerations to bare in mind when treating a Middle-Eastern population and how to tailor treatments in order to be culturally sensitive. As a conclusion, we will discuss the region’s needs in order to be able to provide better treatments to the sufferers in this part of the world.


About the person:

Carine el Khazen is a clinical psychologist. She has a Masters’ Degree in Clinical and Psychopathological Psychology (USJ), post-graduate degree (DESS) in Clinical and Psychopathological Psychology (University of Sorbonne), and diploma in Profound Studies (DEA) in Clinical Psychopathology (University of Jussieu,). Carine has been working as a clinical psychologist in Dubai, United Arab Emirates since 2004. She joined the American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology (ACPN) in 2011 and as an eating and weight disorders specialist, she has set up and is the director of the region’s only specialized multi-disciplinary outpatient Eating and Weight Disorders program. Carine is a CBT-E therapist, trainer and supervisor. The program is a CBT-E centre for excellence. She has co-authored with Dr Riccardo Dalle Grave the 1st manual dedicated to parents with adolescents engaged in CBT-E “Cognitive Behaviour Therapy For Eating Disorders in Young People” a parent’s guide, published at Routledge Press. Carine also serves as the clinical lead for the psychology services of the centre. Carine is a fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders (AED) and the Vice-President of the NGO MEEDA (the Middle East Eating Disorders Association) which is the Middle-Eastern chapter for the AED. She oversees and runs all the association’s daily operations dedicated to raising awareness, supporting sufferers and training the general public and professionals on the subject of eating and weight disorders.




Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Karwautz

Diagnosis and therapy of anorexia nervosa in adolescence – new results


Assoc.-Prof. PD Mag. Dr. Gudrun Wagner

Innovative interventions for adolescents and young adults with eating disorders and their parents.


European Chapter of Academy for Eating Disorders



Prof. Dr. Jennifer Thomas, FAED
 (USA; AED President)

Dr. Jennifer Thomas is the Co-director of the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Thomas’s research focuses on avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder and other atypical eating disorders, as described in her books Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem?; Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: Children, Adolescents, and Adults; and The Picky Eater’s Recovery Book: Overcoming Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. She is currently principal investigator on several studies investigating the neurobiology and treatment of avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and private foundations. She is the author or co-author of more than 160 scientific publications. She is the current President of the Academy for Eating Disorders and recently completed a 5-year term as Associate Editor for the International Journal of Eating Disorders.



Prof. Dr. Emilia Manzato
Hidden and lesser known disordered eating behaviours in medical and psychiatric conditions

Very little is known about the epidemiology, characteristics, prevalence and correlates of certain hidden and lesser-known eating-related disorders. Eating Disorders (EDs) and eating-related disorders include a very heterogeneous group of syndromes and symptoms characterized by abnormal eating and weight control behavior which may appear in all genders and ages.

From clinical point of view  these disorders  are characterized by abnormal and persistent eating and weight control behaviour but they do not fit the stereotype of Feeding and Eating Disorders as classified in DSM5. For this reason we could call these disorders as « hidden and lesser known eating disorders» (LKEDs) The risk of underestimation is high for the LKEDs because  their symptoms  could be  often  hidden by the main pathology.

LKEDs can lead to high rates of morbidity and mortality, especially if they are misjudged and untreated. In my presentation I will explore some LKEDs to improve the interest and the knowledge of LKEDs to enhance the clinical ability to diagnose the hidden and uncommon EDs early. Furthermore, DSM-5 and ICD-11 list an increasing number of psychiatric diagnostic categories and treat them as morbid entities separated. The critique of current psychiatric classifications and diagnostic crystallizations has led toward a “transdiagnostic view”. The purpose of my presentation is also to widen the angle of view on disturbed eating behavior supporting the “transdiagnostic paradigm” focused on the evolution of pathological phenomena observed during the same individual’s lifetime.


Prof. Dr. Umberto Nizzoli (Italy; President European Chapter)

Food and Addiction

The construct of Addiction, despite an overwhelming literature, is still controversial. Its implications are pervasive. For this reason, various descriptions and theories have followed on the subject of pathological dependence, addiction. Although it is not accepted within the DSM-5, because it is considered not sufficiently supported by research evidence, it is too polluted by its media use, the practical use of the term Addiction is found more and more frequently in theses, publications, titles and reports. For a long time the terms drug dependence have been used and subsequently often replaced by pathological dependence; Drug Abuse or Substance Abuse or Dependence, again in DSM IV to switch to Drug Related Disorders and Addictive Disorders in DSM-5. Along this speech we will face the complication of the Addiction construct emphasizing the importance of craving because its construct craving appears central/crucial.

The relationship between eating disorders (ED) and substance use disorders (SUD) is one of the many possible comorbidities, although many times underestimated and insufficiently investigated in clinical practice even if the presence of substance use disorders in people with ED and vice versa is significant. Food and Addiction records the concomitance of the presence of these two diagnostic categories. The “double diagnosis” of both is more frequently combined with personality disorder (mainly borderline personality disorder). ED and SUD have various similarities: neuro-biological, emotional and behavioural mechanisms seem to bring them together. The disease histories must clarify which of the two disorders arose first or whether the onset is contemporary. In one clinical area as in the other, disorders are often underestimated.

Finally, between both Addiction and ED emerges Food Addiction (originally coined in 1956 by Randolph). The last part of this presentation highlights the concept of food addiction and its clinical manifestations.


Dr. Jacinta Tan (UK)
Ethical issues in the treatment of eating disorders

The treatment of eating disorders can raise all sorts of ethical issues. It is absolutely crucial that all eating disorder clinicians understand the range and nature of these ethical issues. This brief talk will give an overview of these issues, and will seek to explain the relevance of ethics to our routine clinical care. An understanding of these ethical issues is important to being able to judge the best way to deliver evidence based treatment in a thoughtful, empathic way which meets the needs of patients and families as well as respecting their autonomy, dignity, and human rights. 


About the person:

Dr. Jacinta Tan is working as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Psychiatrist at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the NIHR Oxford Foundation Biomedical Research Centre as well as Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. She is also a researcher and medical ethicist, a member of the Royal College’s Professional Practice and Ethics Committee and until recently the Welsh representative for the Eating Disorders Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  Dr. Tan also conducted the Welsh Government’s Eating Disorder Service Review in 2018, and co-led the Scottish Government’s Eating Disorder Service Review with two Scottish colleagues of her, which was delivered to the Scottish Government in March 2021. She has also been profiled as one of the ‘25 Women in the Royal College of Psychiatrists’.


Prof. Dr. Jennifer Thomas, FAED (USA; AED President)
Advances in Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: From Mechanisms to Interventions

Since avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder was added to the diagnostic nomenclature 10 years ago, the field has learned a great deal about its clinical characteristics and underlying neurobiology. Neurobiological features are surprisingly consistent with patient subjective experience. Dr. Thomas will explore how we can leverage these emerging insights to inform the development of novel treatments, and highlight how intervening at the behavioral level may have mechanistic impacts on underlying neurobiology.


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Voderholzer (Germany)
Refeeding in severe adolescent and adult anorexia nervosa: new studies

Background: The standard care for refeeding inpatients with anorexia nervosa (AN), starting with low calories and advancing cautiously, is associated with slow weight gain and longer hospital stay. Studies from more recent years suggest that higher calorie refeeding improves outcome without increasing the risk for refeeding syndrome. However, most studies have been conducted in patients with moderately severe or severe anorexia nervosa, but not in patients with extremely severe anorexia nervosa. We report on 3 restrospective studies on different aspects of high calorie refeeding from the beginning in hospitalized patients with extreme anorexia nervosa.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of adult and adolescent inpatients admitted consecutively (n = 103 adult patients with AN, mean BMI 11.5 +/- 0.9; n = 120 adolescents, mean BMI 13.1 +/- 1.1 kg/m²). Additionally, we investigated the impact of high calorie refeeding in a third study (n = 51, mean BMI 12.63 +/- 1.01) on different psychometric measures. All samples consisted of consecutive admitted inpatients.

Results: Safety: In all three samples none of the patients showed a severe complication such as refeeding syndrome or had to be transferred to an intensive care unit. Weight gain: In all three samples rapid weight gain was obtained with a parallel improvement of a variety of abnormal lab values. Psychopathology: In the third study with monitoring of psychometric measures over 6 weeks, there was a significant decrease of depressive symptoms as well as a significant decrease of somatic complains, whereas eating disorders symptoms and compulsive exercise remained unchanged.

Conclusions: High calorie refeeding seems to be safe even in adult and adolescent patients with extreme underweight, when closely monitoring electrolytes . High calorie refeeding is associated with rapid weight gain and also improves depressive symptoms and somatic complaints.

Limitations: All studies were open and uncontrolled; since the patients were admitted consecutively, there is no selection bias. Early recommendations to start slowly with refeeding should be questioned also with regard to extreme underweight patients.




Here you can register as a member of the Eating Disorders Network and benefit from discounts on the congress fee: Registration for membership in the Eating Disorders Network


Price List for the Congress Eating Disorders 2022



The programme of the 29th Congress on Eating Disorders including the European Chapter of the Academy for Eating Disorders Meeting on Friday from 9 am – 6 pm and on Saturday from 9 am – 5 pm will be published on our website from August 2022.


The annual International Congress on Eating Disorders will take place at the Congress Centre in Alpbach. The address is: Alpbach 246, 6236 Alpbach in Tyrol, Austria.


We have applied for training points for our participants with the Austrian Medical Association, the Professional Association of Austrian Psychologists and the Austrian Federal Association for Psychotherapy. The exact information about the number of training points will be available here soon:


Austrian Medical Association: 17 points
Federal Association of Austrian Psychologists: 13 points
Austrian Federal Association for Psychotherapy: 


For your information, we would like to inform you that the 28th International Congress on Eating Disorders 2021 has been approved by the BÖP with 16 continuing education units and by the Austrian Medical Association with 18 points for the ÖÄK continuing education diploma.


Please contact us for all questions, concerns, etc. by email at info@netzwerk-essstoerungen.at.


We look forward to your registration / abstract submission! 


Convenors & Chairs 


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schuessler
Medical University Innsbruck


Co-Convenors & Co-Chairs 


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ursula Bailer
Univ. of California, San Diego, USA; Vice president of the Austrian Society on Eating Disorders; Past president AED


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Karwautz
Vienna Medical University; Vice president of the Austrian Society on Eating Disorders



Congress organization


Angelika Appelt MMSc, Daniel Purtscheller MSc und Katrin Preuner MSc BSc


Netzwerk Essstörungen
Templstrasse 22
A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
T + 43-512-57 60 26
F + 43-512-58 36 54


In collaboration with:

Austrian Society for Eating Disorders (ASED)


Medical University Innsbruck