Ethnic-racial differences in feelings of embarrassment associated with binge eating and fear of losing control




Limited research exists on ethnic-racial differences in the objective and subjective experiences of binge eating among women in the United States. The present study examined binge eating related psychopathology in a nationally representative sample of White, Black, Native American, Asian, and Hispanic women.


A subsample of 5,726 women between the ages of 19 and 27 years were selected from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.


Ethnic-racial differences in binge eating related psychopathology were found. Asians and Native Americans were more likely than Whites to report they would feel embarrassment related to binge eating. Hispanics were more likely than Whites and Blacks to report they would be afraid to start eating for fear of losing control.


Findings suggest that the affective dimensions associated with binge eating are differentially represented among ethnic-racial groups. Implications for treatment and prevention programs are discussed. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007