It was once thought that eating disorders were more common in Western societies. However, recent research has found that eating disorders have long existed in other societies and their prevalence in non-Western countries is not significantly lower. A study of 154 women with and without an eating disorder compared levels of body dissatisfaction among North European Australians, East Asian Australians, Singaporean Chinese and North European expatriates in Singapore. Irrespective of cultural group the women with an eating disorder had similar levels of body dissatisfaction. Among those women without an eating disorder Singaporean Chinese had greater levels of body dissatisfaction than the other groups. Within each cultural group women with eating disorders had higher levels of body dissatisfaction than other women apart from the Singaporean Chinese women where there was no difference between those with and without eating disorders.
Soh, Nerissa Li-Wey ... [et al] - Body image disturbance in young North European and East Asian women with and without eating disorders in Australia and in Singapore European Eating Disorders Review July-August 2008, 16(4), 287-296