Based on a study in Social Science and Medicine, experts at Rutgers University found an association between systemic racism experienced by African Americans and emotional eating.
In the study, more than 750 African Americans aged 18 to 88 were assessed for associations between systemic racism and factors such as chronic stressors, emotional eating, physical health, and mental health.
The authors noted in their findings that individual racism was associated with more anxiety. Institutional and cultural racism were associated with emotional eating, while individual racism was not.
The study also found that emotional eating can worsen the impact of individual racism on anxiety symptomatology.
“We conclude that institutional and cultural racism contribute to individual racism experiences and emotional eating whereas emotional eating exacerbates associations among individual racism and anxiety symptomatology,” said the authors in their findings.