Gender identity, race/ethnicity and eating pathology

By Daniel Le Grange, PhD, FAED

Gorrell, S., Le Grange, D., Blalock, D. V., Mehler, P. S., Johnson, C., Manwaring, J., Duffy, A., Huston, E., McClanahan, S., & Rienecke, R. D. (2021). Gender identity, race/ethnicity and eating pathology in a treatment-seeking community sample. Journal of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, 31, 77-89.

Despite the wide-reaching impact of eating disorders (EDs), little is known about eating pathology among individuals across racial/ethnic and gender minority groups. This study investigated ED symptomology among 13,658 adolescents and adults seeking treatment at ERC centers across the United States.  Results indicated that anorexia nervosa was the most common diagnosis in each gender category and for a majority of racial/ethnic groups; Black individuals had elevated rates of binge eating disorder, consistent with previous research.  Compared to females, males were less likely to endorse all ED symptoms, and gender minority status was also associated with a decreased report of most ED symptoms, with some exceptions: Hispanic/Latinx and Bi/Multi-racial individuals reported some ED pathology at rates that were comparable to or higher than White individuals.  This study affirms the wide-reaching impact of ED pathology, and supports robust screening for ED symptomology across various gender and racial/ethnic identifications. 

Written by

Daniel Le Grange, PhD, FAED

Daniel Le Grange, PhD, holds a Distinguished Professorship at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he is Benioff UCSF Professor in Children’s Health in the Department of…
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Dan V. Blalock, PhD

Dan Blalock is a health services researcher in the Health Services Research & Development Center of Innovation at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Assistant Consulting Professor in the…
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Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS

Dr. Philip Mehler, prior to joining Eating Recovery Center, served as the Medical Director of Denver Health and Hospital Authority a position he held up until his retirement in 2014. Dr. Mehler began…
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Craig Johnson, PhD, CEDS, FAED

Dr. Johnson has been a leader in the field of Eating Disorders for over 40 years. Currently he is a Senior Consultant at ERC, where he previously held the positions of Chief Clinical Officer, Chief…
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Jamie Manwaring, PhD

Dr. Manwaring earned her doctorate in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, where she published peer-reviewed research in the field of eating and weight disorders. Since joining Eating…
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Alan Duffy, MS

Alan Duffy is Patient Experience & Research Manager at Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center in Denver, Colorado and a trained professional who specializes in the…
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Susan McClanahan, PhD, CEDS

Susan McClanahan, Ph.D., CEDS is the current Chairman of the ERC Pathlight Advisory Board and the Founder of Pathlight Behavioral Health Centers. Dr. McClanahan is a licensed clinical psychologist…
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Renee D. Rienecke, PhD, FAED

Renee D. Rienecke, PhD, FAED, is a clinical psychologist and Director of Research for Eating Recovery Center/Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Centers and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of…

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