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Unformatted text preview: 205 Natio al Eati Disorders Asociatio . Permisio is ra ted to copy a d repri t materials for educatio al purposes o ly. Natio al Eati Disorders Asociatio must be cited a d web adres listed. w.Natio alEati Disorders.or I formatio a d Referal Helpli e: 80.931.237 Eating Disorders in Women of Color: Explanations and Implications Background Over the past few years, there has been increasing evidence of disordered eating occurring among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Contrary to the persistent belief that eating disorders affect only young, white women, analysis of the Minnesota Adolescent Health Study found that dieting was associated with weight dissatisfaction, perceived overweight, and low body pride in all ethnic groups (Story et al, 1997). Similarly, a study conducted by Robinson et al (1996), found that among the leanest 25% of 6 th and 7 th grade girls, Hispanics and Asians reported significantly more body dissatisfaction than did white girls. Lastly, in a survey of 6,504 adolescents, Asian, Black, Hispanic and Caucasian youth all reported attempting to lose weight at similar rates (32.7%, 31.9%, 36.1% and 34.9% respectively), while among of Native American adolescents, 48.1% were attempting weight loss (Kilpatrick, Ohannessian, & Bartholomew, 1999). Research and Reporting Bias Exact statistics on the prevalence of eating disorders among women of color are unavailable. Due to our historically biased view that eating disorders only affect white women, relatively little research has been conducted utilizing participants from racial and ethnic minority groups. In spite of these factors, reports of eating disorders among women of color are on the rise. Some of this gain may simply reflect an increase in the reporting of these problems rather than actual increases. Three factors affect the rate of reporting among minority women: underreporting of problems by the individual, under and misdiagnosing on the part of the treatment provider, and cultural bias of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV criteria for eating...
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