Purpose – There is a gap in the understanding of relationships between socioeconomic status (SES), urban-rural differences, ethnicity and eating disorder symptomatology. This gap has implications for access to treatment and the effectiveness of treatment. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – Data are presented from a major Canadian survey, analyzing the impact of body mass index (BMI), urban-non-urban residency, income, and ethnicity on eating disorder symptomatology. Findings – One of the strongest findings is that high income non-White women expressed less eating disorder symptomatology than lower income non-White women. Research limitations/implications – Future research needs to consider how factors such as urban residency, exposure to Western “thinness” ideals, and income differentials impact non-White women. Practical implications – Effective treatment of ethnic minority women requires an appreciation of complicated effects of “culture clash,” income and BMI on eating disorder symptomatology. Originality/value – This study makes a unique contribution to the literature by examining relationships between SES (income) and eating disorder symptomatology in White and non-White Canadian women. The review of the scientific literature on ethnic differences in eating disorder symptomatology revealed a disparity gap in treatment. This disparity may be a by-product of bias and lack of understanding of gender or ethnic/cultural differences by practitioners.
Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 9, 2014