North Carolina has a Latino population that is growing extremely quickly; in the past ten years alone, the NC Latino population has increased by 110%. Although there is a common misconception that Latinos do not develop eating disorders, there is still a very real threat as some studies have shown that binge eating and bulimia nervosa are just as prevalent or more prevalent in Latinos than in non-Hispanic Whites. Despite this growing need, there is little information available to Latinos about eating disorders and how they progress; additionally, there is not much information available for providers in how best to treat Latinos.
Two of the greatest barriers that exist for Latinos seeking treatment for eating disorders are the stigma associated with eating disorders in the Latino culture and the lack of knowledge of what actually signifies an eating disorder. One way to confront and lessen both of these barriers is to provide adequate, easily available information about eating disorders tailored to the Latino community. Information available in Spanish is necessary for the Latinos, as many interviews with the local Latino community in Carrboro and Durham have shown that Latinos prefer to receive treatment and therapy sessions in Spanish and communicate at home in Spanish as well.
In order to provide the necessary information to the Latino community Dr. Mae Lynn Reyes, Dr. Claudia Unikel, and Dr. Cynthia Bulik recorded a series of podcast (available for free, Información en Español ) that provide information about eating disorders in Spanish. In this 4-part series, the doctors provide information about eating disorders in general (covering anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorders, and eating disorders not otherwise specified) and about warning signs that family members can be aware of if they suspect that a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder. We hope that with the introduction of these and many other podcast series, we will be able to provide vital information to a population in need.
For more information about Eating Disorders in Spanish, please click here.
For more podcasts from the UNC Eating Disorder program, please click here.
By: Juanita Ramirez