Are Latinos At Risk For Eating Disorders?

There’s no question…Latinos make some of the world’s best food. It’s part of our culture and many times eating (and lot’s of it) is considered “healthy” even though it could lead to eating disorders. Today more Latinos suffer from binge eating and anorexia as second and third generation Latino’s are acculturating to American values.

Deb Franko, Professor of Counseling & Applied Educational Psychology did a study called: Considering J.Lo and Ugly Betty: a qualitative examination of risk factors and prevention targets for body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, and obesity in young Latina women.  Franko and her colleagues found that the college-aged Latinas struggled with conflicting cultural expectations. “The messages from their families that larger bodies are beautiful are bumping against a more Caucasian white culture that promotes a thin body ideal,” Franko says.

woman unhappy with bodyIt’s staggering to learn how unhappy women are with their bodies. A recent study showed that 89% of women are unhappy with their weight. “We’re not beautiful according to the standard,” said Corazón Tierra to NBCLatino. Tierra is an immigrant from Puerto Rico that when she arrived to the U.S. felt that her physical appearance didn’t fit into the American standard.“There is a very mixed message,” she says. “There is so much attention on food, but then everyone is concerned about weight.”