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Eating Disorders Highly Prevalent Among Gay and Bisexual Men

the investigators studied whether gay and bisexual men with greater connection and affiliation with the gay community are more likely to have eating disorders than those who are not affiliated with the gay community. Despite slightly elevated eating disorders among men who were active in gay recreational groups, men who said they felt closely connected to the gay community and who participated in a range of gay and bisexual organizations did not have higher rates of eating disorders than men who were not as closely affiliated with the community.

"Even gay and bisexual men who participate in gay gyms, where body-focus and community values regarding attractiveness would be heightened, did not have higher rates of eating disorders than those gay and bisexual men who participated in non-gay gyms or who did not participate in a gym at all," observes Dr. Meyer. "This suggests that factors other than values and norms in the gay community are related to the higher rates of eating disorder among these men."

As for the findings in women, the researchers reported no differences in rates of eating disorders between lesbian/bisexual women and heterosexual women, suggesting that lesbian/bisexual women are not protected from eating disorders as some previous researchers have suggested. Also, rates of eating disorders of lesbian/bisexual women did not differ significantly from gay/bisexual men. "This shows that there needs to be greater awareness of these problems among gay and bisexual men and women alike, as well as specific interventions to address the issues in this population," the researchers conclude.

Source-Eurekalert/V
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