Lesbianism and obesity

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In April of 2007, the American Journal of Public Health analyzed data from 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and the data suggested that American lesbian women were 2.69 times more likely to be overweight and 2.47 times more likely to be obese than all other female sexual orientation groups. [1]

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

Concerning lesbianism and obesity, in April of 2007, the American Journal of Public Health analyzed data from 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and the data suggested that American lesbian women were 2.69 times more likely to be overweight and 2.47 times more likely to be obese than all other female sexual orientation groups. [1] The abstract for this study indicated that "lesbians are at greater risk for morbidity and mortality linked to overweight and obesity." [1]

In 2009, the PubMed article abstract for the Polish psychiatry journal Psychiatria Polska article Body Image in Homosexual Persons declared:

Homosexual women are less concentrated on physical appearance and more satisfied with their bodies while being more tolerant to obesity.... For lesbian women the ideal body image is more massive than for heterosexual women.[2]

In 2007, a purported lesbian wrote to Andrew Sullivan, the political commentator and administrator of The Daily Dish blog:

And - oh heck, I'll admit it - aesthetics have value, too! As a woman, I may not be as focused on looks as men are predisposed to be, but I sure am tired of seeing so many queer ladies out there who are way past 200 pounds. Way, way past. Sorry, but no amount of "fat acceptance" is going to make that a pleasant sight - gay, straight, butch, femme, male or female.[3]

Physical and mental health related problems associated with obesity

See also: Physical and mental health related problems associated with obesity and Atheism and Mental and Physical Health

Some of the medical conditions associated with obesity include: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, arthritis, cancer, sleep apnea, reproductive problems in women and varicose veins.[4][5][6][7] In addition, medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[8][9][10][11][12]

Medical research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[13][14][15][16][17]

According to the Mayo Clinic some of the symptoms associated with obesity can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pain in your back or joints
  • Excessive sweating
  • Always feeling hot
  • Rashes or infection in folds of your skin
  • Feeling out of breath with minor exertion
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue

Obesity and the feet/ankles: According to Stuart D. Miller, M.D.: "It is important for the public to know that obesity isn't just an aesthetic issue, but a contributing cause of musculoskeletal health problems, specifically with the feet and ankles."[19]

Lower levels of balance recovery and increased risk of falls: In her thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, entitled A modeling investigation of obesity and balance recovery, Sara Louise Matrangola writes in the abstract: "Obesity is associated with an increased risk of falls and subsequent injury. Previous studies have shown weight loss and strength training to be beneficial to balance, but knowing which is more beneficial will allow researchers to design interventions to maximize the benefits in terms of balance and reducing risk of falls."[20]

Obesity and Alzheimer's disease

See also: Obesity and Alzheimer's disease

A PET scan of the brain of an individual with Alzheimer's disease reveals a loss of function in the temporal lobe.

In 2005, WebMD published:

People with diabetes are at particularly high risk of Alzheimer's disease. But now there's strong evidence that people with high insulin levels -- long before they get diabetes -- already are on the road to Alzheimer's disease.

As the body becomes more and more overweight, it becomes more and more resistant to the blood-sugar-lowering effects of insulin. To counter this insulin resistance, the body keeps making more insulin...

Insulin Triggers Amyloid Buildup

High insulin levels are known to cause blood vessels to become inflamed....

One dangerous effect of this insulin-caused brain inflammation is increased brain levels of beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is the twisted protein that's the main ingredient in the sticky plaques that clog the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

"What was striking was the magnitude of the effect," Craft tells WebMD. "Inflammation can be a result of amyloid elevations but can also create an environment in which amyloid is made more readily. Inflammation can be both the result and cause of amyloid production."[21]

A 2009 health report on a medical study indicated:

They compared the brain scan of 94 people in their 70s who were obese & overweight. They found that the obese had lost tissue in the frontal & temporal lobes areas critical for planning & memory. Declines were also seen in areas used for attention & executive functions, long term memory & movement

A neurologist Professor Paul Thompson said, “That's a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain. But you can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer's if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control.”M[22]

Health effects of Alzheimer's disease

See also: Effects of Alzheimer's disease on the brain

An animation of a human left temporal lobe (right is side similar).

(photo obtained from Wikimedia commons, see: license agreement)

Alzheimer's disease is "characterised by loss of neurons and synapses in the cerebral cortex and certain subcortical regions. This loss results in gross atrophy of the affected regions, including degeneration in the temporal lobe and parietal lobe, and parts of the frontal cortex and cingulate gyrus.[23] Some of the primary symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are: memory problems, mood swings, emotional outbursts, brain stem damage which impairs function in the heart, lungs plus causes disruption of various other bodily processes.[24]

An abstract of the medical study entitled Measures to Assess the Noncognitive Symptoms of Dementia in the Primary Care Setting by Brent P. Forester, M.D. and Thomas E. Oxman, M.D. inidcated "Noncognitive symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias include psychosis, mood disturbances, personality changes, agitation, aggression, pacing, wandering, altered sexual behavior, changed sleep patterns, and appetite disturbances. These noncognitive symptoms of dementia are common, disabling to both the patient and the caregiver, and costly."[25]

According to the Center for Neuro Skills:

Kolb & Wishaw (1990) have identified eight principle symptoms of temporal lobe damage: 1) disturbance of auditory sensation and perception, 2) disturbance of selective attention of auditory and visual input, 3) disorders of visual perception, 4) impaired organization and categorization of verbal material, 5) disturbance of language comprehension, 6) impaired long-term memory, 7) altered personality and affective behavior, 8) altered sexual behavior.[26]

Obesity, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and prevention

See also: Alzheimer's disease and prevention

Weili Xu, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, declared: "Our results contribute to the growing evidence that controlling body weight or losing weight in middle age could reduce your risk of dementia".[27]

For more information please see: Alzheimer's disease and prevention

See Also

External links

Weight loss resources and tips

Strength training and cardio exercise:

How much exercise is needed to lose weight and importance of one day of rest per week:

Documentary on weight loss:


Irvingia gabonensis:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Overweight and Obesity in Sexual-Minority Women: Evidence From Population-Based Data, Ulrike Boehmer, Deborah J. Bowen, Greta R. Bauer, American Journal of Public Health, 2007 Jun;97(6):1134-40. E pub 2007 Apr 26.
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19694404?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=1
  3. http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/05/obesity_and_les.html
  4. http://www.webmd.com/diet/tc/obesity-health-risks-of-obesity
  5. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/fact_consequences.htm
  6. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/obesity
  7. http://stanfordhospital.org/clinicsmedServices/COE/surgicalServices/vascularSurgery/patientEducation/varicose.html
  8. http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/41/18/25.1.full
  9. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/25/as-waistlines-widen-brains-shrink.html
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21167850
  11. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100714112832.htm
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/instance/2568718/
  13. http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/41/18/25.1.full
  14. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/25/as-waistlines-widen-brains-shrink.html
  15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21167850
  16. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100714112832.htm
  17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/instance/2568718/
  18. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=symptoms
  19. Survey Suggests Obesity May Cause Foot Problems
  20. Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, entitled A modeling investigation of obesity and balance recoveryby Sara Louise Matrangola
  21. Obesity and Alzheimer's: High Insulin Levels Linked to Alzheimer's
  22. Obese people are more at risk of Alzheimer’s
  23. http://www.news-medical.net/health/Neurodegeneration-in-Alzheimers-and-Parkinsons.aspx
  24. http://www.dementiacarecentral.com/node/559
  25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC419385/
  26. http://www.neuroskills.com/tbi/btemporl.shtml
  27. Obesity in Middle Age May Increase Risk of Dementia