But recent studies have found that Latinas have eating disorders and body image concerns at rates comparable to or greater than non-Latina whites.

“If you look at the research literature, the perception is not well-founded,” says Deb Franko, professor of counseling & applied educational psychology and associate dean at Northeastern University.

In the study, Considering J.Lo and Ugly Betty: a qualitative examination of risk factors and prevention targets for body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, and obesity in young Latina women,” Franko and her colleagues found that the college-aged Latinas in their focus groups struggled with conflicting cultural expectations. “The messages from their families that larger bodies are beautiful are bumping against a more Caucasian white culture that promotes a thin body ideal,” Franko says.