Rates of Disordered Eating Behaviors Across Sexual Minority Undergraduate Men and Women

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Abstract

The current study explored the rates of disordered eating behaviors across sexual minority undergraduate men and women. The sample included 3,411 undergraduate men and women from a large, public university. Participants completed a self-report, online questionnaire regarding sexual orientation, demographics, and disordered eating behaviors. Descriptive analyses revealed that women who have sex with women endorsed the greatest subclinical and clinical levels of self-induced vomiting and subclinical levels of laxative misuse. Women who have sex only with men reported rates of disordered eating behaviors consistent with the existing literature. High rates of subjective (62.5%) and objective (33.3%) binge eating were reported by women. Comparisons among men revealed men who have sex with men reported the high rates of subclinical objective binge eating. Men who have sex with both men and women reported high rates of clinical levels of objective binge eating. Multivariate analyses controlling for age and race/ethnicity, were conducted. There were statistically significant group difference of gender and sexual orientation on subjective binge eating. These findings demonstrate both statistically and clinically significant differences across sexual orientation groups.

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