For carer support, call us today: 0800 2 EDANZ or (09) 5222 679

February 2024 Newsletter

In this issue...

  • Message from the Chair
  • Eating disorders and health tracking:
    • The Trouble with Tracking
    • How Apps Can Be Used for Eating Disorder Recovery
  • Media update: Eating disorder diagnoses rise, calls to review government support
  • Our exciting new project, and how YOU can help!
  • Upcoming support meetings

In this month’s newsletter, we take a deep dive into a topic that has become increasingly important in recent years: health-tracking apps. We look at some of the research on the relationship between health-tracking apps and eating disorders, as well as how apps can be used to support positive change.

We also provide a link to a news feature on eating disorders this month, calling for better, more culturally sensitive support for those living with eating disorders in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Finally, we are excited to introduce a new project that EDANZ is undertaking. And we will need your help! Find out more below.

Sending you good wishes and hope

The Trouble with Tracking

The trouble with health-tracking apps

These two articles from researchers at Loughborough and Duke University discuss some of the research on the link between health-tracking apps and eating disorders. While health trackers don’t cause eating disorders it is important that we all remain “our own investigator” and ask ourselves whether tracking is right for ourselves and our families.

“Eating disorders are incredibly complex and are caused by many different interacting factors. It would be overly simplistic to suggest that tracking of eating and exercise behaviours could cause an eating disorder.

But monitoring activity and food intake could inadvertently validate disordered eating and exercise attitudes and behaviours among vulnerable people. And the pressure from devices to be constantly active, and to meet revised, increasing step targets could exacerbate obsessive and self-critical tendencies.

Read "The Trouble with Tracking"

Read "Fitness trackers and eating disorders - is there a link?"

How Apps Can Be Used for Eating Disorder Recovery

How apps can be used for eating disorder recovery

From Verywell Mind

Apps are not all bad, however, and there are some specifically designed to aid in recovery. The article linked below discusses two of the most common apps and what to look for in an app that supports positive change. Note: we do not directly endorse the use of any specific app, this is provided for informational purposes only.

“Remember that an app is not a substitute for treatment. It is always a good idea to discuss the use of an eating-related app with your treatment team. In addition, keeping track of eating habits with a hand-written food log or diary can help you to better understand your current unhealthy patterns in order to promote change.”

Read "How Apps Can Be Used for Eating Disorder Recovery"

From Stuff

There is also an app developed right here in Aotearoa New Zealand. Here, Genevieve Mora and Hannah Hardy-Jones talk about their app – Love Your Kite.

“There are commonalities with eating disorders, but they are really an individualised experience, so it was important to both women that the app was not one-size-fits-all.”

Read "Love Your Kite app launched to help those with eating disorders"

Media update: Eating disorder diagnoses rise, calls to review Government support

Eating disorder diagnoses rise, calls to review Govt support


In the news this month: it is estimated that 100,000 kiwis are living with an eating disorder. The pressure is on for the Government to rethink the system, “beyond simply more beds” including more culturally sensitive approaches for Māori.

"Otago University researcher Mau te Rangimarie Clark said more culturally sensitive treatment also needed to be provided for Māori.

"It's not just western body ideas — it's that exposure to adversity, so, including poverty, trauma, and familial dynamics."

Read Article / Watch

To read more about the experience of eating disorders among Māori, refer to our October 2023 Newsletter

Our exciting new project, and how YOU can help!

our exciting new project

We are so excited to announce that EDANZ will be launching a new project in 2024! This co-development project was developed by our research sub-committee and aims to identify research priorities that are relevant, meaningful, and representative of the voice of our community. We will want to hear from you in 2024!

For more on how you can contribute, keep an eye on future newsletters and our website. 

We acknowledge Joanne Stephenson of Ashburton for her generous bequest to EDANZ for research.

EDANZ Support Group Meetings

Upcoming support group meetings

EDANZ believes parents/carers have unique abilities to support one another and we hold regular meetings to which you are warmly invited. Currently, we're joining together around the country once a month thanks to videoconferencing technology. 

If you would like to participate in a virtual support group, please RSVP to and we'll send you the link.

Meetings in 2024 will be held on the first Wednesday of each month at 8pm-9pm.

Upcoming meetings:

  • Wednesday, February 7th, 8pm
  • Wednesday, March 6th, 8pm
  • Wednesday, April 3rd, 8pm

More information can be found on our website Parent/Carer Support Groups page

Remember: EDANZ helpline is open throughout the year – please don’t hesitate to contact us or leave a message on the phone 0800 2 EDANZ and we will get back to you as soon as we can. If you are concerned about the safety of someone, please ring 111 or go to the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital.

"The ongoing support our family has received from EDANZ has been a vital in the recovery process of our daughter's anorexia. Having a parent who has experienced this journey and has offered stories of recovery has been invaluable to us during difficult times. Resourcing given along with facts and information about the disease has also helped us enormously." – Kate

Did you know, we receive no regular funding?

Many families have told us they consider our support to be essential and life-saving. However, we are a volunteer organisation and rely totally on donations and grants to provide our services – many of which are currently self-funded. 

Demand for our services continues to grow to unprecedented levels. With the cost pressures New Zealand is facing, donations are becoming scarce... yet they're needed more than ever before.

If you can, please consider donating to EDANZ

Your donation will enable us to continue our work providing support to families, education to healthcare providers and the community, and advocating for improved access to evidence-based treatment for all affected New Zealanders. 

Make a Donation