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Sarah Jacoby writes:In fact, according to recent research, the rate of eating disorders among transgender people is much higher than among cisgender people. And experts are only just beginning to understand why. ...
"We found that transgender people were much more likely to say that they had received a diagnosis of an eating disorder in the past year," explains Alexis Duncan, MPH, Phd, senior author on the study.
Indeed, almost 16% of transgender participants reported being diagnosed with an eating disorder within the last year, compared to 1.85% of cisgender heterosexual women and 0.55% of cisgender heterosexual men.
Transgender participants were also more likely to report those compensatory behaviors, suggesting that their increased rate of diagnosis isn't simply due to them seeing health professionals more often than cisgender people — they actually are suffering from the symptoms of these disorders more frequently. ...
One potential explanation for these drastically higher rates is that transgender people are more likely to have higher rates of body dysphoria, explains [Elizabeth] Diemer. "This [could result] in a generalized body discomfort," she says. "They then start to engage in disordered eating behaviors to try to alleviate body discomfort or conform their body to what we socially conceive of as appropriate for a female or male body."...
Another hypothesis, known as the minority stress model, suggests that those who belong to gender, sexual, or other types of minorities tend to feel more stress overall. That puts them at a higher risk for all kinds of health conditions, including eating disorders and other mental health issues.
=17pxBut there are many=17px other factors which determine whether or not you develop an eating disorder, says Dr. Duncan. Genetics, a history of trauma, bullying, other mental illnesses, and environmental factors (e.g. how your parents treated you) all play a role. "We're so new as a field that it’s hard for us to say that we have any factors that are really established [causes]," Diemer says.
In my own case intense dysphoria may lead to comfort eating, as if the bodymind tries to satisfy a hunger that cannot be satisfied.
What about you?