Metro Weekly

Study: More than half of all LGBTQ teens have an eating disorder

The survey found that LGBTQ youth are 11 times more likely to have an eating disorder

Youth Pride’s 20th Anniversary, in Dupont Circle — Photo: Ward Morrison

According to a new survey, over half of LGBTQ teens have an eating disorder.

The study, conducted by The Trevor Project, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and Reasons Eating Disorder Center, found that 54% of LGBTQ youth surveyed had been diagnosed with an eating disorder, compared with only 5% of their heterosexual peers.

Straight-identifying trans youth were found to be the most at risk, with 71% of them having been diagnosed with an eating disorder, with Anorexia being the most common disorder.

The survey, released during National Eating Disorders Association Awareness Week, also found that 88% of those diagnosed with an eating disorder have considered suicide.

In addition, half of LGBTQ respondents who have never been officially diagnosed suspect they have an eating disorder.

Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project, said he is “stunned” by the results in a joint release.

“We need to do far more to help the alarming number of LGBTQ youth living with eating disorders and struggling with thoughts of suicide,” Paley said. “We are grateful to partner with NEDA and Reasons Eating Disorder Center to shed light on this public health crisis and help save more LGBTQ lives.”

“The results make it clear that troubling numbers of LGBTQ youth are affected by eating disorders and self-harm,” Claire Mysko, CEO of NEDA, said. “Together, we are working to raise awareness and put live-saving resources into the hands of those in need. It’s time to get real about these issues and ensure that everyone has access to the support they deserve.”

The reportedly first-of-its-kind survey sampled 1,305 youth ages 13 to 24 across the United States who self-identified as LGBTQ.

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