Disordered eating, socio-cultural media influencers, body image, and psychological factors among a racially/ethnically diverse population of college women

Eat Behav. 2014 Jan;15(1):37-41. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2013.10.005. Epub 2013 Oct 21.


This study examined disordered eating, socio-cultural media influencers, body image, and psychological factors among a large, racially/ethnically diverse sample of college women (n=1445; 58% White, 21% Asian, 11% Hispanic, 11% Black) who completed an online survey. Black women were significantly more satisfied with their weight and shape and had lower eating concerns, disinhibited eating, and emotional eating than all other racial/ethnic groups. Black women tended to have significantly higher levels of self-esteem, were less likely to compare their body to those of people in the media, felt less pressured to attain the physical appearance standard set by the media, and had less awareness of the societal appearance norms set by the media than other racial groups. Findings suggest that Black college women, independent of weight status, may be protected from disordered eating, negative body image, and societal media pressures.

Keywords: Body image; College; Disordered eating; Women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Asian Americans / psychology*
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Eating / ethnology
  • Eating / psychology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / ethnology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mass Media
  • Self Concept
  • Social Values / ethnology
  • Universities
  • Young Adult