LGBTQ adolescents experiencing weight-based bullying found to have increased substance use

Weight-based victimization among sexual and gender minority youth is associated with increased odds of alcohol use, binge drinking, marijuana use, and cigarette use, reports a new study from researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut, in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign.

Research has found that weight-based victimization contributes to poor health in youth, including substance use and poorer emotional well-being. However, the harms of weight-based victimization have received almost no attention in LGBTQ youth, despite their high rates of obesity and high risk for victimization and psychological distress.

“The absence of research on weight-based victimization in this vulnerable population is concerning, and so our study aimed to look at how weight-based victimization is related to health behaviors of sexual and gender minority adolescents,” says Rebecca Puhl, Deputy Director of the UConn Rudd Center, Professor of Human…

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