Popular media coverage might have you believe that the average eating disorder patient is a white woman, particularly a heterosexual one. But a wide array of studies, surveys and reviews have found that eating disorders are, in fact, more pervasive in the LGBTQIA+ population, affecting people of a wide variety of gender identities. These more vulnerable patients, however, are less likely to receive effective care.
"A social justice lens is necessary to understand the structural discrimination and unfit care these systems provide [as well as] the roots of diet culture and beauty standards and the need for trauma-informed care and harm reduction," explained Cody Esterle, a member of Fighting Eating Disorders in Underrepresented Populations: A Trans+ & Intersex Collective (FEDUP).
Factors such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation and ability influence access to care and treatment. They can also influence how likely someone is to have disordered eating habits, as suggested by the