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Digital Recording

Black Women, Body Image, and Eating Disorders: The Missing Links in Research and Treatment

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Jessica Wilson, MS, RD
1 Hour 04 Minutes
Audio and Video
Feb 24, 2022
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Digital Recording
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So often, the hidden assumption in assessment and treatment for poor body image is that clients’ negative views of their bodies are subjective and can shift with individual interventions. Yet oppression and race-based trauma informs the ways in which disordered eating and poor body image presents for Black women. Black women are confronted every day with the contradictory message that their bodies are both “too much” for Western society and also “not enough” for Western society.  In this session, we will explore how weight stigma and thin privilege are influenced by racism, specifically anti-Blackness, and learn how to better serve Black women in treatment settings where eating and body image are at the forefront.



This online program is worth 1.25 hours CPD.



Jessica Wilson, MS, RD's Profile

Jessica Wilson, MS, RD Related seminars and products

Jessica Wilson, MS, RD, (she/her), has 15 years’ experience as a clinical dietician. She has specialized in eating disorder care since 2009 and has led international dialogues about the barriers marginalized clients face when accessing eating disorder care. Jessica is well known for co-founding the #amplifymelanatedvoices movement and her commentary on the racist origins of the frameworks and models that guide the medical and mental health fields. She stays active on social media and in her communities advocating for body liberation, centering those most marginalized. Jessica is currently writing a book about the impacts of white supremacy on the narratives of Black women’s bodies for Hachette Books, out in January 2023. In her spare time, she gardens, rides bike and walks her dogs.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Jessica Wilson maintains a private practice and has an employment relationship with the University of California. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Jessica Wilson is a Co-host of the My Black Body podcast.


  1. Analyze racial bias in eating disorder and body image research.
  2. Conduct culturally relevant and sensitive assessments and interventions for Black women clients struggling with eating and body image.
  3. Determine strategies for skillfully raising conversations about race and gender into discussions about food and eating disorder recovery.


  • What are we talking about?
    • DSM categories
    • Limitations in the research and how this impacts assessment and treatment; the absence of Black women
    • Research bias; the erasure of Black women from research on restrictive disorders and the focus on binge eating in Black women
    • Weight bias and racism in health and research
  • Who are we talking about?
    • Black women in Western society
    • The racial, ethnic and cultural relevance in eating disorder development and presentation-The function of restrictive eating disorders and weight loss in Black women
    • Case studies
  • Treatment and assessment
    • What is “evidence based” in research that is heavily biased?
    • Limitations of assessment and interventions -Culturally relevant conversations about food
    • Why body image curriculum harms Black women
  • Going forward
    • When to discuss race with clients
    • How to bring racial harm into conversations about disordered eating

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Registered Dietitians & Dietetic Technicians
  • Nurses
  • Other mental health professionals


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