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Trans, gay and lesbian people more at risk of eating disorders: survey

Trans, gay and lesbian people more at risk of eating disorders: survey

CREATED ON // Sunday, 17 May 2015 Author // Andrew Shaw

A new study in the US has found transgender, lesbian, gay and bisexual university students are at a greater risk of eating disorders. 

The study from Washington University in St. Louis used data from a survey of 289,024 students from 223 American universities.

Researchers found the rates of self-reported eating disorders were highest in transgender people, while heterosexual men had the lowest rates.

Senior author Assistant Professor Alexis Duncan said transgender people also reported using vomiting, laxatives or diet pills for weight control more than cisgender men and women.

The students self-reported their mental health, substance use, sexual behaviour and nutrition history on questionnaires distributed between 2008-2011.

Of those surveyed, 268,066 students self-identified as heterosexual, 5,057 as unsure, 15,422 as bisexual, lesbian or gay, and 479 as transgender.

Transgender participants were also significantly more likely than members of any other group, including cisgender sexual minorities, to report past-year eating disorder diagnosis and past-month compensatory behaviours.

The Butterfly Foundation provides support for people with eating disorders. Call 1800 33 4673 or visit



Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw is editor of QP [queensland pride magazine].

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