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American LGBT youth at greater risk of Type 2 diabetes and obesity, says study

The study claims LGBT youth are more likely to do inactive activities compared to heterosexual students

By Steve Brown

LGBT youth are at greater risk of Type 2 diabetes and obesity than heterosexual youth, a new study revealed.

According to a Northwestern Medicine study, LGBT+ youth are less physically active and more sedentary due to “minority stress” but lead author Lauren Beach claims these young people are more at risk of both mental and physical health problems.

In a statement, Beach said: “Many of these youth might be taking part in sedentary activities – like playing video games – to escape the daily stress tied to being lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning.

“Our findings show that minority stress actually has a very broad-ranging and physical impact.”

The study – which asked 350,673 American students aged between 14 and 18 – found that LGBT+ youth were 38 to 53 per cent less likely to take part in physical activity.

Bisexual and questioning students admitted to spending at least 30 minutes more per school day doing inactive activities compared to heterosexual students.

Beach went on to say that there is little known about the physical environments of the LGBT+ students but those who have family support and identities are affirmed tend to experience better health than those who lack such support.