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Claude-Pierre to speak on women's health

Eating disorders expert Peggy Claude-Pierre, who has been profiled on "20-20" and "Oprah" and is the author of a new book, The Secret Language of Eating Disorders, will be the keynote speaker at the seventh Women's Health Update Conference. The conference will be held on October 16 at La Renaissance in East Windsor, starting at 3:30 p.m.

Claude-Pierre specializes in treating patients with anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and other eating disorders. With her husband, David Harris, she runs the Montreux Clinic in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

She began counseling in 1983 when both her daughters, Kristen and Nicole, were gripped by anorexia. Claude-Pierre could not find physicians who could adequately treat her girls and decided to take matters into her own hands. Her success led to her working with other patients afflicted with eating disorders. She established an outpatient practice in 1988 and a clinic in 1993. The clinic has a treatment success rate of more than 90 percent.

In addition to Claude-Pierre, the conference will feature panel discussions titled: "Self Esteem and Body Image" and "Preventive Care for Health after 40."

The "Self Esteem and Body Image" panel features UConn faculty researchers Cynthia Adams and Dr. Jeffrey Anderson, as well as Sandra Affenito from Saint Joseph's College and Margo Maine from the Institute of Living.

Adams, a professor and associate dean of the School of Allied Health, specializes in eating disorders and is the author of three books and numerous journal articles on the topic. Dr. Anderson is director of sports medicine and chair of the female athletic performance committee at UConn. Affenito is an expert on dietetics and nutrition. Maine, a clinical psychologist, specializes in eating disorders and is the author of Father Hunger: Daughters and Food.

The "Preventive Care for Health After 40" panel features UConn faculty researchers Jan Kerstetter and Dr. Kim Thornton, as well as Dr. Mary Jane Minkin and Dr. James Watson.

Kerstetter, an associate professor and registered dietitian in the School of Allied Health, is an expert on osteoporosis and the role of dietary protein on calcium bone metabolism in adult women. Dr. Thornton, an associate clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Health Center, has done extensive research in menopause-related issues, including osteoporosis and hormone replacement. Dr. Minkin, a staff member at the Yale University School of Medicine, is the author of What Every Woman Needs to Know About Menopause. Dr. Watson, a private practitioner in Mansfield, specializes in, among other things, medical issues related to female athletes.

The conference will also feature a presentation by Regina Barreca, a professor of English. Barreca is the author of Sweet Revenge: The Wicked Delights of Getting Even and I Used to Be Snow White, But I Drifted. She is editor of The Penguin Book of Women's Humor.

All the authors in attendance will be available to sign copies of their books.

The conference is presented by the School of Allied Health, the Health Center, and CIGNA HealthCare of Connecticut. The registration fee of $35 per person includes dinner. To register, call (800) 622-9905 or (860) 486-4905.