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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Real Reason Behind African Americans With Eating Disorders

African American with eating disorder

Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa (anorexia), bulimia nervosa (bulimia), and binge eating disorder. Anyone can develop eating disorders. It's not just a white person's disease -- African Americans struggle with eating disorders, too. Studies show that eating disorders affect African Americans differently. Why?

Eating disorders

All eating disorders are dangerous, but Binge Eating Disorder (B.E.D.) is the most common, especially among African Americans. Binge eating is when people eat large quantities of food very quickly and seem to have no control over how much they eat. Afterward, they often feel distressed and shameful. What triggers this type of eating disorder among African Americans?

The cause

According to medical professionals at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), binge eating is believed to be the result of emotional stress and/or depression. This seems to make sense since it is culturally frowned upon in the black community to talk about mental health issues. Binge eating is often done instead of seeking medical advice.

Among black children, binge eating can often be triggered by emotional stress and bullying, according to Dr. Williams from NEDA. If binge eating dominates your life, it is important to see a doctor. The good news is that it can be treated, and this is especially important among children to prevent them from suffering for years from eating disorders.

For more details about the National Eating Disorders Association, visit
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