Lesbian and bisexual women more at risk for obesity, study finds

By Avichai Scher

Lesbian and bisexual women in the United Kingdom are 14 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than their heterosexual counterparts, according to a new study published in the Journal of Public Health.

Researchers pooled data from 12 national health surveys in the U.K. comprising more than 93,000 participants, to look at the relationship between sexual orientation and body mass index, or BMI. The data goes back as far as 2008, when the U.K. began tracking sexual orientation in its health surveys.

Joanna Semlyen, a senior lecturer in psychology at Norwich Medical School in England and the study’s lead author, said she hopes that rather than stigmatizing lesbian and bisexual women, the study will raise awareness about health disparities.

“People working in health care should bear in mind the particular needs of sexual minorities and make needed care more accessible,” she told NBC News.

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