Eating disturbances among American minority groups: a review

Int J Eat Disord. 1996 Apr;19(3):239-48. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-108X(199604)19:3<239::AID-EAT2>3.0.CO;2-N.


Objective: The purpose of this paper was to review the research literature related to eating behaviors and disturbances among American minority groups.

Method: A computer-based literature search was conducted to locate articles pertaining to this topic.

Results: This review indicates that, compared to Caucasian females, eating disturbances are equally common among Hispanic females, more frequent among Native Americans, and less frequent among Black and Asian American females. Risk factors for eating disorders (EDs) are greater among minority females who are younger, heavier, better educated, and more identified with White, middle-class values.

Discussion: Further studies of EDs among American minority groups are needed, especially studies that are longitudinal and developmental in nature and that focus more specifically on the effects of racism in the development of EDs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / epidemiology*
  • Bulimia / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Ethnic Groups / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology