Eating Disorders: It’s Not Just One Race that Suffers; It’s All of Us

It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. For a historically black university, this may not register with many people because “black people don’t have eating disorders.” While eating disorders amongst black people may not be as common, this is far from true.

For some of us, eating disorders hits close to home. We’ve seen first hand what bulimia and anorexia can do to the person with the problem and their family and friends. Some of us have had our own insecurities with our image.

The NEDA is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. It was formed in 2001 when they merged with the American Anorexia Bulimia Association.

Eating disorders aren’t a “white people issue.” Thinking that way is dangerous to the psyche of young black men and women that may face some of these issues. Instead of being judgmental, we should be supportive. It’s not okay to starve ones self or throw up food, but it is okay to be unsatisfied with ones image.

In the black community, big is beautiful. In some cases, being too small would be the issue. Black families encourage their kids to eat, no matter how unhealthy it may be.

According to the American Heart Association, non-Hispanic blacks are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than are non-Hispanic whites.

We must encourage healthy lifestyles. While we black people believe “thick” is where it’s at, what we consume is not always the healthiest.

No matter the size, our health should come first. So just because “we don’t have eating disorders,” it doesn’t make us any more healthier than those that do. So next time you refer to a black man or woman as “thick” consider what they might take from that and the complication that ma