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via @boboacademy on Instagram

Trans students are way more likely to have eating disorders

A study shines light on the extra pressures that trans people can face in higher education

A new study has revealed that transgender college students are five times more likely to have an eating disorder than their cis peers. The study, conducted by members of Washington University for the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, was tweeted by actress and Dazed 100 star Hari Nef, who is determined to keep fighting for trans awareness.

Researchers analysed data from 289,024 students at 223 universities based in the US and they shockingly found that transgender students are diagnosed with eating disorders at a rate of 15.82 per cent. Diagnosis among cisgender students stood between 0.55 and 3.66 per cent. The study also found that non-straight men and women were two to four times more likely to have been diagnosed with an eating disorder than heterosexual women. 

The authors, led by Dr. Alexis E. Duncan, have given some possible explanations as to why transgender people are more likely to have eating disorders.

“Transgender individuals may use disordered eating behaviors to suppress or accentuate particular gendered features. It has been suggested that striving for weight loss may be a way for transgender women to conform to feminine ideals of slimness and attractiveness,” 

“Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, a strong link has been found between higher levels of minority stress and poorer mental health outcomes. The same mechanisms are likely at play in transgender individuals, who may be exposed to substantial amounts of discrimination, both on an interpersonal and societal level.” 

Causes are thought to be an idealised body image transgender women are often striving to achieve, the stress associated with that, and the fact that they’re more likely to suffer from anxiety and stress due to discrimination. 

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