Study Shows Eating Disorders Are Colorblind
WebMD News Archive
Striegel-Moore says that the results of the study challenge the widely held
view that black women are immune to developing eating disorders. "The real
importance of our study is that we included a large number of black women, we
used standardized questions, and used the same approach for both black and
white women. Doing all that, we showed that clearly black women have this
problem", Striegel-Moore tells WebMD.
Physicians should ask obese patients about their eating habits as a way of
screening for the presence of an eating disorder, says Striegel-Moore. She
believes many doctors are reluctant to intrude into their patients' privacy.
"My experience is that people tend to be quite willing to volunteer the
information when asked", she says.
Susan Z. Yanovski, MD, director of the Obesity and Eating Disorders program
at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in
Bethesda, Md., believes that physicians should be on 'high alert' to identify
people with eating disorders. In an interview seeking objective commentary,
Yanovski tells WebMD, "If you ask patients in a nonthreatening way, they'll
actually be somewhat relieved that someone is actually recognizing they have a
problem ... People who do have problems with binge eating generally feel pretty
bad about it. By letting them know they are not alone, this is actually a
disorder, and there's help available, you can be doing patients a great
- A new study dispels the myth that eating disorders are a white woman's
- Black women were just as likely as white women to report binge eating or
self-induced vomiting, and were more likely than whites to report recurrent
- Recurrent binge eaters, regardless of race, tended to be overweight and to
exhibit symptoms of psychiatric distress.