Epidemiology and Biostatistics Publications
Overweight and Obesity in Sexual-Minority Women: Evidence From Population-Based Data
American Journal of Public Health
OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether lesbians have higher rates of overweight and obesity than women of other sexual orientations.
METHODS: We compared population estimates of overweight and obesity across sexual orientation groups, using data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth.
RESULTS: Adjusted multinomial logistic regression analyses showed lesbians have more than twice the odds of overweight (odds ratio [OR]=2.69; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.40, 5.18) and obesity (OR=2.47; 95% CI=1.19, 5.09) as heterosexual women. Bisexuals and women who reported their sexual orientation as "something else" (besides heterosexual, lesbian, or bisexual) showed no such increase in the odds of overweight and obesity.
CONCLUSIONS: Lesbian women have a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than all other female sexual orientation groups. This finding suggests that lesbians are at greater risk for morbidity and mortality linked to overweight and obesity. This finding also highlights the need for interventions within this population.