*There is a category called EDNOS, Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, that serves as a clearinghouse for “other” eating disorders. Eating disorders, like other mental health challenges, do not discriminate when it comes to ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or education level.
Body image issues stem more from “Our interventions based on body image issues more often focus on hair texture and skin color self-hatred.” This was also mentioned in the Musical “SISTAS”.
*Insecurity with hair for black women is like body issues for white women*
*Black women were as likely as white women to report binge eating or vomiting during the preceding 3 months, and more likely to report fasting and the abuse of laxatives.
Recurrent binge eating was more common among black women than among white women.
In both race groups, recurrent binge eating was associated with elevated body weight and increased psychiatric symptoms.
Eating disorders are thought to occur less among African-American women than other ethnic women. 91 doctors read 1 of 3 passages (differing only with regards to the girl’s race: African-American, Caucasian, or Hispanic) describing disturbed eating patterns of a fictional character. The doctors were then asked to indicate if they thought the character named 'Mary' had an eating disorder and to rate her anxiety, depression, and eating disorder symptoms based upon the passage they read.
The results: Doctors may have racial prejudices about eating disorders that could impede their detection of symptoms in African-American girls.
- Stephanie Covington Armstrong, the author of Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat.
- A Hunger So Wide And So Deep: A Multiracial View of Women's Eating Problems by Becky Thompson https://www.amazon.com/dp/1556527861/?tag=slatmaga-20
- The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.