Gay teenage boys more likely to have eating disorders
Research presented at the National Lesbian Health Conference, held September 26-28 in Washington, D.C., shows that gay teenage boys are more likely than their heterosexual peers to have eating disorders, GayHealth.com reports. By contrast, lesbian teens were shown to be less likely to suffer from eating disorders than heterosexual girls. Researchers from Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard University reported that gay and bisexual boys were 15 times more likely to report binge eating than heterosexual boys. Gay and bisexual boys were twice as likely to admit that they were recently trying to lose weight when compared with heterosexual boys. Lesbian or bisexual girls were half as likely to have dieted within the past year as their heterosexual peers. "We're really at the beginning of figuring out who these adolescents are and why they are at increased risk of eating disorders and other unhealthy behaviors," said lead researcher Sydney Bryn Austin. The study's findings were based on surveys completed by 10,136 girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 17.