The association between sexual orientation and eating disorders-related eating behaviours in adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Zhangqi Cao, Erica Cini*, Dario Pellegrini, Kostantinos C. Fragkos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Sexual orientation is usually developed during the adolescence, which coincides with the eating disorders peak onset. This paper aims to explore existing literature to identify whether there is an association between sexual orientation and eating disorder-related eating behaviours (EDrEBs) in this age-group. Methods: This review was based on the PRISMA guidelines, covering the published articles between 1990 and 2021. A meta-analysis of the proportion of sexual orientation and the adjusted odds ratio (OR) with 95% confident intervals was reported. Results: Ten studies (412,601 participants) were included in this review. The results demonstrated adolescents identified as minority sexual orientation, particularly homosexual males were with higher OR of EDrEBs, as follows: Homosexual (binge eating: M = 7.20, F = 2.14; purging: M = 5.40, F = 2.41; diet pills use: M = 3.50, F = 2.59; dieting: M = 3.10, F = 1.75); Bisexual (binge eating: M = 4.60, F = 2.26; purging: M = 4.44, F = 2.37; diet pills use: M = 3.42, F = 2.30; dieting: M = 2.36, F = 1.86). Conclusions: Adolescents who were of a minority sexual orientation were more vulnerable to EDrEBs than their heterosexual peers. Healthcare professionals and sexual minority communities should be primed to facilitate earlier recognition and access to services in these vulnerable groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-64
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • binge eating
  • diet pill use
  • dieting
  • eating behavior
  • eating disorder
  • meta analysis
  • purging
  • sexual minorities
  • sexual orientation

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