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Prev Med. 2010 Aug;51(2):129-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.05.010. Epub 2010 May 25.

Determinants of body weight among men of different sexual orientation.

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Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA.



To investigate eating habits and exercise behaviors as mediators in the relationship between sexual orientation and BMI in men. We hypothesized that sexual minority men (SMM) that is, men who identify as either homosexual or bisexual, have a lower BMI due to healthier eating habits and increased physical activity compared to heterosexual men.


We used weighted data from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey to produce population-based estimates of the California male population. Numerous measures of eating and exercise habits, including daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and participation in varying levels of physical activity, were used in multiple regression models to test for mediation.


We found that SMM had significantly lower prevalence of overweight and obesity compared to straight men. Mediation was not confirmed, rather eating habits and exercise habits had an independent effect on BMI.


Because sexual orientation has an independent effect on BMI that is not mediated by eating or exercise behaviors, other factors explain the differences in BMI status between sexual minority and straight men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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