The National Institute of Health has granted $1.5 million to answer a question of “high public-health significance”: why are “three-quarters” of lesbians obese and why are gay males not?
Boston’s Bringham and Women’s Hospital has officially received two grants from the NIH to study the relationship between peoples’ sexual orientation and their numbers on the scale. With the rate of obesity in the United States expanding as rapidly as people’s waist sizes, research institutions have made it a priority to detect social implications and effects to weight. While racial and socioeconomic disparities have been garnering increased attention to their link to obesity, sexual orientation has not … until now.
The study will attempt to identify the biological, psychological, and social factors that explain the “striking interplay of gender and sexual orientation in obesity disparities”. The study clarifies that “it is now well established that women of sexual minority orientation [lesbian/bisexual] are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic.”
It also reveals that gay men seem to have the opposite trend as heterosexual males have nearly double the risk of obesity compared to homosexual males.
This grant covets fund the research that will find the root cause of these obvious disparities.
The study has been receiving some backlash with people claiming it to be a “waste of money”. But the study defends its integrity by claiming that it has a “high potential for public health impact not only for sexual minorities but also for heterosexuals” as it will uncover how gender socialization affects obesity risk.
It is no secret that females obtain more body image pressures as 85%-90% of anorexia sufferers are women. But if lesbians suffer from the opposite problem, what does this mean in terms of social pressures?