Prevalence and Correlates of Disinhibited Eating in Youth from Marginalized Racial/Ethnic Groups

M. K.Higgins Neyland, Alexander Rice, Lisa M. Shank, Megan N. Parker, Jason M. Lavender, Marian Tanofsky-Kraff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Evidence suggests that youth from marginalized racial/ethnic groups (i.e., Latino, Black, Asian American, Native American youth) engage in disinhibited eating at greater rates than their non-Latino White peers. This review aims to discuss the prevalence of disinhibited eating among youth of color, identify culturally-specific correlates that may represent promising targets for prevention or treatment, and provide recommendations for future research. Recent Findings: We restricted our literature review to studies published between 2010 and 2020 using samples of children and adolescents of color living in the USA. The relevant literature was limited: the majority of studies focused only on prevalence rates, combined racial/ethnic groups, and utilized the same samples for multiple publications. The literature on disinhibited eating among Asian American and Native American youth was particularly sparse. Disinhibited eating prevalence varied by racial/ethnic group, sample, and type of disinhibited eating, but rates were generally the same or higher when comparing youth of color to non-Latino White youth. Summary: Given racial/ethnic health disparities that begin in childhood and persist in adulthood, it is vital that researchers investigate ways to better address disinhibited eating in underserved populations. Recommendations for future research include the following: (1) investigating theoretically relevant mechanisms to target in prevention and/or treatment programs with youth of color; (2) conducting more in-depth studies within specific groups (e.g., Asian Americans) versus only adjusting for race/ethnicity or comparing racial/ethnic groups; and (3) performing racially, culturally, and linguistically sensitive community-based participatory research to increase relevance, acceptability, and feasibility of interventions in marginalized communities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Disinhibited eating
  • Ethnicity
  • Race


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