Written By: Taylor Hutchinson, BS
Eating disorders have long been seen as a disease that only affects young white women. Whether through research or marketing, this group of individuals often appears as the face of this disorder. Few studies have been conducted on how eating disorders affect the black community. However, what we do know is that black individuals are far more likely than their white counterparts to have bulimia (over 50% to be exact) or present with binge eating disorder symptoms. However, research also shows that they are less likely to be diagnosed, receive treatment, or have this even discussed with them by their doctors. Eating disorders in non-white individuals often present differently, though since doctors continue to measure the symptoms through a euro-centric viewpoint this leads to underdiagnosis. As an eating disorder treatment facility, it’s important for us to continue education and training on how this disease affects individuals from all varying cultures and backgrounds. This will allow us to break down barriers including stigmas (ie: the perception that eating disorders are a “white woman’s disease”) and access to resources. It will also allow us to increase our cultural competency and serve a much-needed community of individuals who are suffering.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, please know that you are not alone. We see you and we will be here for you every step of the way. Take the first step today and learn more about the eating disorder treatment programs that we offer.