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Int J Eat Disord. 1995 Mar;17(2):191-5.

Racial differences in women's desires to be thin.

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  • 1Old Dominion University, VA, USA.


The goal of this research was to attempt to understand why white women are more prone to develop eating disorders than black women. Using self-reports, we found that white women chose a significantly thinner ideal body size than did black women, and expressed more concern than black women with weight and dieting. White women also experienced greater social pressure to be thin than did black women. White men indicated less desire than black men to date a women with a heavier than ideal body size, and white men felt they would more likely be ridiculed than did black men if they did date a woman who was larger than the ideal. The results suggest that black women experience eating disorders less than white women at least in part because they experience less pressure to be thin.

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