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Report: More than Half of LGBTQ Youth Struggle With Disordered Eating

There’s an epidemic of disordered eating among LGBTQ youth, according to a new survey released this week by suicide prevention organization the Trevor Project.

According to the survey of 1,034 LGBTQ-identified youth, 57% of young people in the community have been diagnosed with an eating disorder. All together, 75% have either been diagnosed or suspect that they are living with one.

Unfortunately, the survey found that trans youth are at disproportionate risk of an eating disorder diagnosis. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed responded they had received such a diagnosis, with anorexia being the most common.

The survey also explored the intricate relationship between disordered eating and mental health. According to the survey, 58% of LGBTQ youth who have an eating disorder contemplated suicide, while 66% of LGBTQ youth who had considered suicide were diagnosed with an eating disorder.

“The unique stressors that LGBTQ-identified people experience, such as coming out and harassment in schools or the workplace, can impact levels of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse,” Amit Paley, Trevor Project’s executive director, wrote of the survey.

The statistics presented in the survey are much more dire than previous statistics on the issue. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, only 3.5% of LGBTQ women and 2.1% of queer men were diagnosed with an eating disorder.

Read the full survey here.


Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew is a staff writer at INTO. His work has appeared in Mic, Slate and Complex. He loves "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Flannery O'Connor and female rappers and is working on a memoir.

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