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Disordered Eating Across COVID-19 in LGBTQ+ Young Adults

Emerging evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is negatively affecting mental health, especially among LGBTQ+ youth. Relatively little is known about the impact of the pandemic on disordered eating behaviors (DEB) for this population. The aim of this study is to understand changes in DEB across COVID-19 within an LGBTQ+ sample, with a particular focus on differences across sexual and gender identities, and the impact of social support on these outcomes. Small but significant increases in urge, frequency, and intensity of DEB emerged, with similar results across restrictive eating, binge eating, and compensatory behaviors. Contrary to prior research, differences in average DEB severity did not emerge between gender minorities (GM) and sexual minority (SM) participants. Changes in average DEB severity were weakly but significantly associated with characteristics of interpersonal relationships, average quality of home relationships, and living with someone not affirming of one's identity.