Transgender people are more likely to have eating disorders : Study

While the idea in itself might sound bizarre but an individual’s sexuality is associated with eating disorders. Students who identify themselves as transgenders and non-transgender lesbian, gay and bisexual are more prone to eating disorders, a new study has found.

The findings, published in the ‘Journal of Adolescent Health’, have taken a survey of 289,024 students from 223 US universities.

Researchers found that the rates of self-reported eating disorders were the highest among transgender people. Heterosexual men had the lowest rates.

“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.

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

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