Sexual orientation linked to eating disorders: Study

Washington: A recent study suggests that children with an eating disorder might be facing the issue of being categorised in the transgender, non-transgender, lesbian, gay and bisexual categories. Researchers found that the rates of self-reported eating disorders were the highest among transgender people. Heterosexual men had the lowest rates.

The findings, published in the journal of — Adolescent Health — have taken a survey of 289,024 students from 223 US universities. “Transgender people were more likely to report a diagnosis of an eating disorder — bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa — in the past year,” said senior author Alexis Duncan, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School.

“They also reported using vomiting, laxatives or diet pills more for weight control in the past 30 days than cisgender men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation,” added Duncan.

Out of all those who participated, 268,066 students self-identified themselves as heterosexual, 5,057 as unsure, 15,422 as bisexual, lesbian or gay, and 479 as transgender.

Transgender students were found to have significantly greater odds of past-year eating disorder diagnosis, past-month diet pill use, and past-month vomiting or laxative use compared to cisgender heterosexual women.

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