Pride month has been celebrated in June for decades. It was established to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in 1969, to raise awareness about issues the LGBTQ2+ community still faces and to amplify their voices.
One issue that is rampant among people from the LGBTQ2+ community that is not often talked about is eating disorders.
The most recent review of the scientific literature about eating disorders (ED) and sexual minorities (referred in the paper as non-heterosexual people) shows that ED, disordered eating behaviours (DEB) and body dissatisfaction are more common in the LGBTQ2+ community (1).
Here are some stats on this issue:
- Compared to cisgender heterosexual adults, sexual minority adults had two to four times greater odds of being diagnosed with an ED diagnosis (2).
- Gay adolescent boys and lesbian adolescent girls have a greater prevalence of engaging in DEB like fasting, diet pill use, purging via vomiting or laxative use and anabolic–androgenic steroid use compared with adolescents who identified as heterosexual, bisexual, or unsure (3, 4).
- Sexual minority adult men experience greater rates of ED behaviours and body dissatisfaction compared with heterosexual men (5).
- Young adult women from the LGBTQ2+ community reported greater body dissatisfaction compared with heterosexual women (6).
Many risk factors can contribute to the development of ED or DEB or body dissatisfaction in people from the LGBTQ2+ community. Many studies have found that minority stress (stress faced by people from stigmatized minority groups), heterosexism, sexual objectification, discrimination based on weight can lead to ED and body dissatisfaction (7). Also, comparing one’s own body to sociocultural body ideals and perceiving differences with it can lead to body dissatisfaction, especially in transgender people. Other risk factors among transgender people are high body dissatisfaction, perfectionism, anxiety symptoms, and low self-esteem (8) .
Treating ED in people who are part of the LGBTQ2+ community is still a challenge since too little research has been made on individualized screening, treatment guidance, and interventions for that specific population. Moreover, care for transgender youth would be facilitated if growth curves based on sex were adapted to this group (9).
As there are still no growth charts of that type, health providers should consult growth curves for both the young person’s birth-assigned sex and gender identity to determine appropriate treatment goal weights (1).
As it has been shown, the LGBTQ2+ community still faces issues and accessing treatment or ressources can come with its share of challenges. If ever you feel the need to seek support for these sorts of issues, there are plenty of resources at your disposal. You can consult ANEB or the Montreal LGBTQ2+ Community Center website for mental health and ED resources.
Even if Pride Month is in June, you can support the LGBTQ2+ community all year long by shopping at LGBTQ2+-owned businesses, donating to LGBTQ2+ causes and community organizations, advocating to your local representatives about LGBTQ2+ issues and amplifying LGBTQ2+ voices and demands.
The professionals working at Sööma clinic believe that all our clients should be treated with respect and dignity regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation. The team is sensitive to the LGBTQ2+ reality and wants to create a safe space for everyone to feel accepted as they are. Harmful anti-LGBTQ2+ comments will not be tolerated in the clinic and on our social media platforms.
Nagata, J. M., Ganson, K. T., & Austin, S. B. (2020). Emerging trends in eating disorders among sexual and gender minorities. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 33(6), 562–567. https://doi.org/10.1097/YCO.0000000000000645
Kamody, R. C., Grilo, C. M., & Udo, T. (2020). Disparities in dsm-5 defined eating disorders by sexual orientation among u.s. adults. The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53(2), 278–287. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.23193
Calzo, J. P., Turner, B. C., Marro, R., & Phillips, G. L. (2019). Alcohol use and disordered eating in a us sample of heterosexual and sexual minority adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(2), 200–210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2018.09.437
Von Schell, A., Ohrt, T. K., Bruening, A. B., & Perez, M. (2018). Rates of disordered eating behaviors across sexual minority undergraduate men and women. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 5(3), 352–359. https://doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000278
Nagata, J. M., Capriotti, M. R., Murray, S. B., Compte, E. J., Griffiths, S., Bibbins-Domingo, K., Obedin-Maliver, J., Flentje, A., Lubensky, M. E., & Lunn, M. R. (2020). Community norms for the eating disorder examination questionnaire among cisgender gay men. European Eating Disorders Review, 28(1), 92–101. https://doi.org/10.1002/erv.2708
Jones, C. L., Fowle, J. L., Ilyumzhinova, R., Berona, J., Mbayiwa, K., Goldschmidt, A. B., Bodell, L. P., Stepp, S. D., Hipwell, A. E., & Keenan, K. E. (2019). The relationship between body mass index, body dissatisfaction, and eating pathology in sexual minority women. The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 52(6), 730–734. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.23072
Sööma est une entreprise bilingue qui fonctionne en anglais et en français. Nous fournissons des articles de blogue, des recettes et des articles de diverses sources qui sont parfois écrits en anglais et parfois en français. Si vous vous sentez incapable d’accéder à un article ou à un sujet spécifique en raison d’une barrière linguistique, veuillez nous contacter à email@example.com et nous serons heureux de traduire le contenu pour vous.