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Home > Research Articles > Anorexia Rare Among Black Women

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - July 14, 2003

Anorexia rare among black women

Washington Post

Monday, July 14, 2003

The eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which has been studied mostly in white women, appears to be extremely rare among black women in the United States, new research has found.

Results from a study involving 2,046 women, more than half of them black, were striking.

"In our sample of more than 1,000 black women (ages 19 to 24), no case of anorexia nervosa was detected, and the odds of detecting bulimia nervosa were six-fold greater for white women than for black women," the researchers concluded in a paper published this month in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Bulimia and anorexia are disorders tied to distorted perceptions of body image, and the women affected often induce vomiting or diet excessively to lose weight.

Binge eating was the only eating disorder for which white and black women had somewhat comparable rates: 27 out of a sample of 985 white women and 15 out of a sample of 1,061 black women.

There was a slightly higher risk of obesity among binge eaters, although the relative youth of the volunteers prevented the researchers from drawing long-term conclusions about health effects.

The risk of binge eating may rise with age, said the team of researchers from Wesleyan University and elsewhere.

(C) 2003 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved