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Keywords:

  • body image;
  • eating;
  • ethnicity;
  • bulimia

Abstract

Objective

This study predicted and found that body image dissatisfaction and bulimic symptoms have a curvilinear relationship among undergraduate women.

Results

For the women in this sample, regardless of race, body image dissatisfaction correlated with bulimic symptoms, such that women who perceived themselves as bigger or smaller than the ideal body size for their ethnic group endorsed bulimic symptoms. Black and white women differed regarding their ethnic group's ideal body image and their self-perceptions of how they compared with the ideal image. Black women tended to report being underweight, whereas white women tended to report being overweight.

Discussion

The findings in this study suggest that some black women are not buffered against eating disorders as suggested in previous research. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 33: 342–350, 2003.