Goode, R. W., Malian, H., Samuel-Hodge, C., Noem, T., Coan, D., Takgbajouah, M., Bahena, L., & Bulik, C. M. (2022). The impact of covid-19 on Black Women Who Binge-eat: A qualitative study. Eating and Weight Disorders – Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-022-01472-w
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Background Although studies have traced the impact of COVID-19 on those with eating disorders, little is known about the specific impact of the pandemic on Black American women who report disordered eating behaviors and are at risk for eating disorders. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on Black women who binge-eat.
Methods We recruited a purposive sample during the first wave of COVID-19 from the southeastern United States. Participants identified as Black women, reported binge-eating episodes in the last 28 days, and agreed to participate in a semi- structured interview. Prior to the interview, participants were administered a socio-demographic survey and the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed independently using qualitative content analysis and open coding to identify relevant codes and themes.
Results On average, participants(N=20)were 43.05±16.2 years of age and reported 5.6±5.7 binge-eating episodes in the last 28 days. We identified six themes to describe participants’ experiences managing their eating behavior during COVID- 19: (1) food as a coping strategy; (2) lack of control around food; (3) increased time in a triggering environment (e.g., being at home with an easy availability of food); (4) lack of structure and routine; (5) challenges with limited food availability; and (6) positive impact of the pandemic.
Conclusion In this study, Black women reported challenges managing their eating behavior during COVID-19. Results could inform the development and tailoring of treatments for Black women reporting disordered eating behaviors.
Level of Evidence Level V, qualitative interviews.