For BIPOC individuals

There is a common misconception that eating disorders primarily affect White individuals. In reality, statistics suggest that the overall prevalence of eating disorders is similar across racial and ethnic groups.1 In fact, some studies indicate that certain eating disorders and behaviors may even be more common among BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals.2,3,4

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Why inclusive, accessible care is necessary

Research studies have found that:

  • 20-26% of individuals with eating disorders are BIPOC7
  • 50% lower likelihood of being diagnosed or receiving treatment is found in BIPOC individuals with an eating disorder8
  • 50% greater likelihood of exhibiting bulimic behaviors, such as binging and purging, is found in Black adolescents compared to White teens2
  • 2.5-4 times higher lifetime prevalence of bulimia nervosa is found in Black and Latino populations compared to non-Latino White individuals3

Addressing disparities in eating disorder detection and support

Experiences of stress and trauma associated with systemic racism and marginalization make BIPOC individuals especially vulnerable to eating disorders.5 Yet, BIPOC individuals are less likely to be screened or offered a referral for further evaluation when presenting with eating and weight concerns.6 As a result, BIPOC individuals with eating disorders often go undetected!

Barriers to care 
for marginalized individuals

Some common barriers to receiving culturally-responsive, high-quality, affordable, and inclusive care include:9,10

  • Financial strain (treatment cost, lack of insurance)
  • Location (living in a rural area, lack of transportation)
  • Time (caregiving duties, inflexible work schedule)
  • Lack of diversity and culturally competent treatment providers
  • Stigma and shame
  • Distrust in the healthcare system
  • Fear of not being heard/taken seriously
  • Lack of awareness or education (eating disorders, how to find care)

We break
down barriers

At Within, we offer culturally-responsive care by attending to the specific needs of our BIPOC patients. We invite patients to share about their identities, communities, and culture throughout the admissions and treatment process so that we can offer tailored treatment recommendations that honor and holistically support each individual.

Our intentionally remote program works with patients to maximize their insurance and financial options and allows patients to integrate treatment into their lives and homes, reducing many of the common barriers to treatment.

A safe, judgment-free space

Within offers a weekly BIPOC process group on Tuesdays at 2:15pm EST. This group provides a space for members to support one another through the unique challenges facing this community. Group members have the opportunity to examine how culture, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomics factors directly impact their perceptions and experiences with food, body image, weight stigma, and diet culture.

In a safe, judgment free space they are able to explore how stereotypes portrayed in the media, political influences, and other cultural and societal factors have impacted their eating patterns and relationships with food.


  1. Cheng, Z. H., Perko, V. L., Fuller-Marashi, L., Gau, J. M., & Stice, E. (2019). Ethnic differences in eating disorder prevalence, risk factors, and predictive effects of risk factors among young women. Eating Behaviors, 32, 23–30.
  2. Goeree, M.S., Ham, J., & Iorio, D. (2011). Race, social class, and bulimia nervosa. Health Economics eJournal.
  3. Marques, L., Alegria, M., Becker, A. E., Chen, C. N., Fang, A., Chosak, A., & Diniz, J. B. (2011). Comparative prevalence, correlates of impairment, and service utilization for eating disorders across US ethnic groups: Implications for reducing ethnic disparities in health care access for eating disorders. The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 44(5), 412–420.
  4. Swanson, S. A., Crow, S. J., Le Grange, D., Swendsen, J., & Merikangas, K. R. (2011). Prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in adolescents. Results from the national comorbidity survey replication adolescent supplement. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(7), 714–723.
  5. Mason, T. B., Mozdzierz, P., Wang, S., & Smith, K. E. (2021). Discrimination and eating disorder psychopathology: A meta-analysis. Behavior Therapy, 52(2), 406–417.
  6. Becker, A. E., Franko, D. L., Speck, A., & Herzog, D. B. (2003). Ethnicity and differential access to care for eating disorder symptoms. The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 33(2), 205–212.
  7. Coffino, J. A., Udo, T., & Grilo, C. M. (2019). Rates of help-seeking in us adults with lifetime dsm-5 eating disorders: Prevalence across diagnoses and differences by sex and ethnicity/race. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 94(8), 1415–1426.
  8. Sonneville, K. R., & Lipson, S. K. (2018). Disparities in eating disorder diagnosis and treatment according to weight status, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and sex among college students. The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 51(6), 518–526.
  9. American Psychiatric Association. (2017). Mental Health Disparities: Diverse Populations.
  10. Christidis, P., Lin, L., and Stamm, K. (2018). An unmet need for mental health services. Monitor on Psychology, 49(4), 19.

Help us understand your needs so we can support you

Call us today to learn more about our personalized treatment programs. A healthier life free from eating disorders is in reach.

(866) 293-0041

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