But recent studies have found that Latinas have eating dis­or­ders and body image con­cerns at rates com­pa­rable to or greater than non-​​Latina whites.

If you look at the research lit­er­a­ture, the per­cep­tion is not well-​​founded,” says Deb Franko, pro­fessor of coun­seling & applied edu­ca­tional psy­chology and asso­ciate dean at North­eastern University.

In the study, Con­sid­ering J.Lo and Ugly Betty: a qual­i­ta­tive exam­i­na­tion of risk fac­tors and pre­ven­tion tar­gets for body dis­sat­is­fac­tion, eating dis­or­ders, and obe­sity in young Latina women,” Franko and her col­leagues found that the college-​​aged Latinas in their focus groups strug­gled with con­flicting cul­tural expec­ta­tions. “The mes­sages from their fam­i­lies that larger bodies are beau­tiful are bumping against a more Cau­casian white cul­ture that pro­motes a thin body ideal,” Franko says.

Read the article at NBC Latino →