Here at Fairwinds Treatment Center, we see the toll that eating disorders take on individuals and their families, and we know that these issues can target members of any cultural, racial or ethnic group. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), reports of eating disorders among women of color are on the rise.
The ABC News program "Nightline" recently interviewed 22-year-old African-American woman Jenna Lahori about her struggles with eating. Lahori told Nightline that she has a love-hate relationship with food, using it to regulate her mood and eating unhealthy amounts even when she isn't hungry. She then engages in bouts of purging, often after weighing herself and fixating on the number she sees on the scale. Lahori says it is a misconception that black women don't have the same struggles with body image as other racial and ethnic groups.
"We have insecurities just like every other woman," Lahori told the news source. "We might put on that sort of act because we have to be the strong black woman. But no, we have insecurities just like everyone else, and it gets hard because you have to sort of put on a face like, 'Oh no, I'm fine.' So you feel the need to hide it."
Lahori describes going to a "dark place" when she is in a binging and purging frame of mind. Many people suffering from eating disorders are also battling unacknowledged psychological, mental and emotional challenges that exacerbate or trigger their issues with food. That's why Dr. Pauline Powers, of Fairwinds Treatment Center, employs a unique dual diagnosis methodology to offer a personalized combination of clinical, nutritional and therapeutic counseling. As a globally renowned eating disorder expert and former NEDA president, Dr. Powers can help you or your loved one achieve lasting recovery both inside and out.