Eating Disorders and Social Discrimination Experience: A Narrative Review
Eating disorders (EDs) are complex, life-threatening, psychiatric illnesses that affect people of all backgrounds, though researchers agree that there is a significant gap in the understanding of EDs in racial and sexual/gender minority populations. Using an intersectional and narrative approach, this review uses ecosocial, minority stress, and escape theories to examine the role of marginalization in ED status in racial/ethnic and sexual/gender minorities. Several distinct, yet interrelated features of social discrimination including invisibility, alienation, and objectification are identified as highly relevant in these illnesses and their symptomatology, overall demonstrating that nonconformity to dominant ideals of gender and race are significant indicators of ED risk. To conclude, future directions for equity and justice-oriented research and clinical practice are given with regards to support for these populations.