Disparities in eating disorder risk and diagnosis among sexual minority college students: Findings from the national Healthy Minds Study

Vivienne M. Hazzard, Melissa Simone, Skylar L. Borg, Kelley A. Borton, Kendrin R. Sonneville, Jerel P. Calzo, Sarah K. Lipson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine differences in eating disorder (ED) risk and diagnosis by sexual orientation in a national sample of college students. Method: Data from 178 U.S. colleges and universities participating in the Healthy Minds Study between 2016 and 2019 were analyzed (36,691 cisgender men, 81,730 cisgender women; 15.7% self-identifying as sexual minorities). Outcomes were ED risk (≥2 on the SCOFF) and self-reported lifetime ED diagnosis. Prevalence estimates adjusted for demographics and weight status were computed via logistic regression. Results: Higher proportions of questioning (29.1%), bisexual (26.3%), and gay men (30.9%) exhibited elevated risk than heterosexual men (14.3%), and a higher proportion of gay men exhibited elevated risk than bisexual men. Higher proportions of questioning (34.5%) and bisexual women (34.6%) exhibited elevated risk than heterosexual women (27.6%); proportions of lesbian (28.1%) and heterosexual women were similar. Among those with elevated risk, higher proportions of bisexual (5.0%) and gay men (7.1%) and of questioning (14.7%), bisexual (18.1%), and lesbian women (19.6%) had been diagnosed relative to heterosexual men (2.0%) and heterosexual women (10.3%), respectively. Discussion: Questioning and bisexual individuals appear to be particularly vulnerable; they may experience elevated ED risk relative to their heterosexual peers yet underdiagnosis relative to their gay or lesbian peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1568
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume53
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (Grant Number T32 MH082761).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • diagnosis
  • feeding and eating disorders
  • sexual and gender minorities
  • sexual orientation
  • universities

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Disparities in eating disorder risk and diagnosis among sexual minority college students: Findings from the national Healthy Minds Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this