Prevalence and treatment of eating disorders among Hispanics/Latino Americans in the United States

Marisol Perez La Mar, Tara K. Ohrt, Hans W. Hoek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Purpose of review We reviewed the recent literature on prevalence rates, and application of evidence-based treatments for eating disorders among Hispanics/Latinos residing in the United States. Recent findings Lifetime prevalence rates of anorexia nervosa are lower among Hispanic/Latinos than non-Hispanic Whites. There are comparable rates of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder (BED) among Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic Whites. BED is the most common eating disorder among Hispanic/Latinos. Evidence-based treatments have begun to be implemented with Hispanics/Latinos. The core concepts of cognitive behavioral therapy for bulimia nervosa and BED apply to this population. Culture-specific adaptations include strengthening the collectivistic framework within an individualistic treatment, psychoeducation of immediate and extended family, and adjustment of meal plans that incorporated cultural foods. Summary There are more similarities than differences in the prevalence of eating disorders across Hispanics/Latinos and non-Hispanic Whites. However, the social context such as immigration status and acculturation is important to consider in the development of eating disorders. In addition, the Westernization of Latin America may change the future relationship of immigration status and development of eating disorder within the United States. Overall, cultural adaptations of evidence-based treatments involved the inclusion of family within treatment, acculturation-related issues, and managing family conflicts that arise because of the changes in eating patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-382
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Eating disorders
  • Hispanics
  • Latinos
  • United States
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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