Sociocultural Factors in the Development of Anorexia Nervosa in a Black Woman

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Abstract

Background:

In an earlier study, we found that anorexia nervosa (AN) does not occur among Black women on the Caribbean island of Curaçao.

Method:

A case report is presented of a Black Antillean woman with AN, who was referred to a center for eating disorders in The Netherlands. In Curaçao, our patient succeeded in gaining weight to become more attractive. Due to subsequent problems in the relationship with her partner, she deliberately lost weight to become less attractive.

Results:

After immigrating to The Netherlands, she adopted the Western cultural ideal of thinness and developed AN.

Conclusion:

This case illustrates the role and possible effects of sociocultural factors in the development of AN.

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