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LGBT Health. 2016 Aug;3(4):283-91. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2015.0076. Epub 2016 May 26.

Differences in Psychosocial Predictors of Obesity Among LGBT Subgroups.

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1 Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities, Mercer University School of Medicine , Macon, Georgia .
2 Department of Community Medicine, Mercer University School of Medicine , Macon, Georgia .
3 Rural Health Research Institute, Georgia Southern University , Statesboro, Georgia .
4 Department of Psychology, Georgia Southern University , Statesboro, Georgia .



The purpose of the current study was to examine the overall presence of and differences in rates of overweight/obesity among a large, nationally diverse sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT)-identified individuals (i.e., cisgender lesbians, cisgender gay men, cisgender bisexual women, cisgender bisexual men, transgender women, and transgender men) and to identify specific psychosocial predictors of obesity within each of the six LGBT subgroups.


A total of 2702 LGBT-identified participants participated in the online study. Participants completed a series of demographic questions (including weight and height) and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 21.


The percentage of participants who were overweight/obese did not differ significantly across LGBT subgroups, with 61.1% of the total sample being overweight/obese. However, the percentage of participants who self-reported body mass indexes in the obese range differed significantly across the six LGBT subgroups, with the highest prevalence in transgender men (46.0%). In addition, the predictors of obesity varied by subgroup, with age a significant predictor for cisgender lesbians, cisgender gay men, and cisgender bisexual women, relationship status for cisgender bisexual women, employment status for both cisgender gay men and cisgender bisexual women, education level for cisgender lesbians, and depression, anxiety, and stress for cisgender gay men. None of the examined psychosocial factors emerged as predictors of obesity for cisgender bisexual men, transgender women, or transgender men.


These findings suggest that there are substantial variations in the presence and predictors of obesity across LGBT subgroups that support the need for culturally tailored healthy weight promotion efforts within the LGBT community.


LGBT; obesity; overweight; psychosocial factors

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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