Book Review: Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide

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By: Anya Huggins

Black women with eating disorders are often overlooked. They are assumed to have a lower risk of eating disorders than white women, however that is not true, and disordered eating is a major health concern. Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders provides direct care to black women and clinicians of any race treating disordered eating in black women.

The premise of Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders is that eating disorders are assumed to be more of a White women’s issue rather than a Black women’s issue, because black women embrace a more attainable body ideal and face less pressure to be thin in our culture. However, when looking at eating disorders as a consequence of stressful or traumatic life events and not the pressure to be thin, the places would switch. Black women face “racism and bigotry in addition to disproportionate rates of poverty, sexual harassment, and childhood sexual abuse” (Small and Fuller, 2020). The clinicians may be hesitant to “ask the hard questions” and black women go without the effective and most productive treatment for their eating disorder (Small and Fuller, 2020).

The concerns of black women are often ignored but Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders: A Clinician’s Guidebrings insight that will help the clinicians understand the importance when treating disordered eating in Blackwomen. This is one of the first books to provide detailed, culturally sensitive information addressing the concerns of Black women with eating disorders. This book gives a voice that the reader has most likely not heard before: black professionals treating black women. Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide boldly show issues like acculturative stress and motivate the readers of any race to provide better care for their client.

Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide is a comprehensive and well-rounded text. By focusing on etiology, diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of eating disorders in African-American women, Small and Fuller address barriers to effective treatment by ensuring clinicians are given the information needed to provide good care.

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