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Thanks to celebrities like Brandy, Kerry Washington, and more recently, Zoe Kravtiz coming clean about their past struggles with body image and eating disorders, other African Americans are slowly but surely becoming comfortable with having these sort of conversations, which can be a difficult thing to do, especially within the Black community.

There aren’t exact statistics available on the prevalence of eating disorders in women of color, specifically Black women and according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), this is “due to our historically biased view that eating disorders only affect White women, relatively little research has been conducted utilizing participants from racial and ethnic minority groups.”

Despite popular belief, White women and girls aren’t the only ones who can suffer from eating disorders, which include anorexia nervosa, binge eating and bulimia nervosa. Actually, Black girls are 50 percent more likely than White girls to suffer from bulimia, according to a 2009 study conducted by the University of Southern California.

One thing’s for sure: Eating disorders do not discriminate against race, age, class or gender, but how can you tell if someone you love is secretly struggling with one? Here are three common signs.

Warning Sign #1: Fixation with food and dieting

As humans, we can be our own worst enemies sometimes, but if someone you know is constantly making comments about being “fat,” despite being underweight or normal weight, you may want to think twice before laughing and shrugging it off next time. In addition, a constant obsession with counting calories, keeping track of the fat content in foods, and trying to lose weight are other tell-tale signs.

Eating Disorders: Do You Know The Warning Signs?  was originally published on

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