Sexual minority women’s health study featured in BMC Public Health
Our recently published study, Sexual orientation disparities in food insecurity and food assistance use in U.S. adult women: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005–2014, was featured today in the BMC Series blog.
Documenting food security disparities among sexual minority women women in the United States, we found that:
- 1 in 4 sexual minority women experienced food insecurity in the past 12-months
- Sexual minority women were 34-52% more likely to be food insecure
- Alarmingly, sexual minority women were 50-84% more likely to experience at least one period during the past 12-months where eating patterns were disrupted and food intake was reduced due to lack of money or other resources (severe food insecurity)
- Lesbians and heterosexual women reporting past same-sex behavior were more likely to rely on emergency food assistance (e.g., food pantries) to supplement food intake.
- Sexual minority and heterosexual women were equally as likely to use federal food assistance programs (e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; SNAP)
Food insecurity is associated with nutritional deficiencies and increased risk for cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Addressing food insecurity in the population may require:
- increasing overall economic stability (e.g., reducing job discrimination, increasing compensation)
- increasing SNAP use among sexual minority women
- improving access to nutritious food via local and LGBTQ-accessible emergency food assistance (e.g., food pantries and soup kitchens)
Citation: Patterson JG, Russomanno J, Jabson Tree JM. Sexual orientation disparities in food insecurity and food assistance use in U.S. adult women: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005–2014. BMC Public Health 2020: 20, 1155. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09261-9