Race, Ethnicity, and Culture

Eating disorders have historically been associated with young, white women of privilege. However, this is a myth—eating disorders do not discriminate. While more research is needed in this area, we do know that the prevalence of eating disorders is similar among Non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians in the United States, with the exception that anorexia nervosa is more common among Non-Hispanic Whites.

Eating Disorders Affect Us All
Recent research has shown that minority women are less likely to seek treatment than their white counterparts, contributing to the perception of minority women as immune from eating disorders. In our eating disorder outreach efforts, we must be attentive to factors affecting minority populations, including differing worldviews, values, and beliefs; patterns of acculturation; effects of oppression; language barriers; and individual differences within every ethnic and racial group. Learn more.

Eating Disorders in Women of Color: Explanations and Implications
A common misperception is that eating disorders just affect affluent, Caucasian women. There is still much to learn about how eating disorders affect individuals of all races and further research must be conducted to ensure that our efforts to combat these illnesses are inclusive of all women and men. Learn more.

Eating Disorders in Jewish Communities
Eating disorders in the Jewish community arise and manifest themselves very similarly to eating disorders in the secular world, and can be potentially life-threatening. What differs however is the effect that culture has on the eating disorder as well as in the treatment and recovery process. Learn more.

RECORDING: African-American Women and Eating Disorders Listen to Joy Keys interview special guests Stephanie Covington Armstrong, author of "Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia," and former NEDA Director of Programs, Laurie Vanderboom as they discuss the struggles black women face when seeking help for an eating disorder. Listen.