Eating disorders in diverse lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations

Int J Eat Disord. 2007 Apr;40(3):218-26. doi: 10.1002/eat.20360.


Objective: This study estimates the prevalence of eating disorders in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) men and women, and examines the association between participation in the gay community and eating disorder prevalence in gay and bisexual men.

Method: One hundred and twenty six white heterosexuals and 388 white, black, Latino LGB men and women were sampled from community venues. DSM-IV diagnoses of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder were assessed using the World Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Interview.

Results: Gay and bisexual men had significantly higher prevalence estimates of eating disorders than heterosexual men. There were no differences in eating disorder prevalence between lesbian and bisexual women and heterosexual women, or across gender or racial groups. Attending a gay recreational group was significantly related to eating disorder prevalence in gay and bisexual men.

Conclusion: Researchers should study the causes of the high prevalence of eating disorders among gay and bisexual men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bisexuality / ethnology
  • Bisexuality / psychology*
  • Culture
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Homosexuality / ethnology
  • Homosexuality / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence