Diversity is a word we hear and see everywhere. Diversity can be defined as a range of human differences, including race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability, or attributes, religious or ethical values systems, national origin, and even political beliefs. Diversity may also interfere with care for an eating disorder.
One article in this issue centers on two barriers to getting treatment for an eating disorder: skin color and the type of insurance the family has (see “Barriers to Care for Eating Disorders” elsewhere in this issue). In another article, researchers led by Dr. Ruby Moreno of UC-San Francisco examined the distress and underlying burden of grief among parents of patients with anorexia nervosa (see “Helping Parents as Caregivers of AN Patients,” elsewhere in this issue). The burden falls most heavily upon mothers of patients, who must learn ways of letting go of the adolescent the family knew before the illness, and finding a way to live with n accept their child as he or she is now. Fathers traditionally play a very small role in caregiving for AN patients or their children with other types of eating disorders.