LGBTQ+ Nutrition

LGBTQ+ Nutrition

An Invisible Population in Data

LGBTQ+ individuals have unique nutrition needs that may change throughout the process of social integration or physical transition.  Unique needs of individuals who are transgender have been increasingly recognized by professional nutrition organizations.  

While current guidelines to inform medical and psychological care of LGBTQ+ persons exist, little scientific data are available to inform evidence-based practice guidelines for nutrition and health professionals working with patients.  The U.S. government collects minimal information describing sexual and gender minority populations.  Many aspects of sexual orientation and gender identity are currently absent from nationally representative surveys such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  This impedes high-quality research and a comprehensive understanding of nutrition-related health disparities among the LGBTQ+ population.

Particular areas of concern for the LGBTQ+ population may include disordered eating second to body dissatisfaction; disparate health outcomes associated with gender-based stigma discrimination, and lack of healthcare access; food insecurity; and potential nutrition-related side effects related to gender affirmative therapies and surgery, including hormone therapies.  Nutrition is one of the highest rated health concerns among LGBTQ+ individuals, alongside depression, suicidal ideation, harassment, and sexually transmitted diseases.

LGBTQ+ individuals have unique nutrition needs that may change throughout the process of social integration or physical transition.  Unique needs of individuals who are transgender have been increasingly recognized by professional nutrition organizations.  

While current guidelines to inform medical and psychological care of LGBTQ+ persons exist, little scientific data are available to inform evidence-based practice guidelines for nutrition and health professionals working with patients.  The U.S. government collects minimal information describing sexual and gender minority populations.  Many aspects of sexual orientation and gender identity are currently absent from nationally representative surveys such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  This impedes high-quality research and a comprehensive understanding of nutrition-related health disparities among the LGBTQ+ population.

Particular areas of concern for the LGBTQ+ population may include disordered eating second to body dissatisfaction; disparate health outcomes associated with gender-based stigma discrimination, and lack of healthcare access; food insecurity; and potential nutrition-related side effects related to gender affirmative therapies and surgery, including hormone therapies.  Nutrition is one of the highest rated health concerns among LGBTQ+ individuals, alongside depression, suicidal ideation, harassment, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Our Ongoing Research

Our work focuses on studying the unique nutrition-related needs of subpopulations within the LGBTQ+ community.  The goal is to provide health organizations and policy-makers the evidence-based science they need to inform professional practice guidelines and policies that can decrease nutrition-related burdens imposed on this underserved community.

Publications

Results of an online survey about food insecurity and eating disorder behaviors administered to a convenience sample of self-described LGBTQ+ young adults ages 18 to 35 years.
2020. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Dietary supplement use in transmasculine spectrum populations. COMING SOON!
2020. Journal of Dietary Supplements

Additional LGBTQ+ Resources

Hormone therapy, health outcomes, and the role of nutrition in transgender individuals: a scoping review. COMING SOON!
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Invincible In Data: The Lack of LGBTQ Data Collection
Georgetown University Public Policy Review

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