Eating Disorders in Asian Populations: A Critique of Current Approaches to the Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Eating Disorders


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There is increasing evidence that eating disorders are present among ethnically diverse populations, and researchers have suggested that investigations in this area may inform the field's understanding of how sociocultural factors are related to the development of eating disorders. Although it is generally accepted that sociocultural factors are key in eating disorder etiology, knowledge on how best to study these influences in diverse groups is still limited. In this article, the authors review how the research literature has explored relationships among culture, ethnicity, and eating disorders in Asian populations and critically examine strategies that have been used to investigate these issues across 1 ethnic/racial group. The methodological challenges encountered in these approaches are identified and considered in the provision of recommendations for future endeavors to improve the field's understanding of how culture is related to eating disorders.