Brigham and Women’s studying overweight lesbians, thin gay men with $1.5 million federal grant

Brigham and Women's are studying the reason lesbians have a higher obesity rate than straight women. Photo credit: www.myhealthnewsdaily.com
Brigham and Women’s are studying the reason lesbians have a higher obesity rate than straight women. Photo credit: www.myhealthnewsdaily.com

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is in the midst of a $1.5 million study to find out why nearly three-quarters of adult lesbians are overweight or obese, compared to half of heterosexual women, while gay men are 50 percent less likely to be obese, compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

Researchers at The National Institutes of Health are funding the study with a $1.5 million grant that described obesity as “one of the most critical public health issues affecting US today,” and an issue of “high public health significance,” according to a report by CNS News.

The grant goes on to say that “racial and socioeconomic disparities in the determinants, distribution, and consequences of obesity are receiving increasing attention. However, one area that is only beginning to be recognized is the striking interplay of gender and sexual orientation in obesity disparities.”

The study could take as long as five years – it started in 2011 and has an end date of June 30, 2016. It received $778,622 for the first year and $741,378 in 2012, totaling $1,520,000, according to CNS.

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