A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health has found that gay men tend to be thinner than heterosexual men, while lesbians tend to be heavier than their straight counterparts.
US researchers assessed more than 67,000 people in Massachusetts and found that 21 percent of straight men were obese compared to only 14 percent of gay men.
When it came to lesbians, 26 percent were found to be obese compared to 17 percent of the straight women in the study. Lesbians were also found to be more at risk of heart disease.
The researchers discovered that both gay men and women tend to be current smokers compared to their straight counterparts.
The study’s lead author, Kerith Conron, explained that the disparities could be as a result of cultural differences between the gay and straight communities. She suggested that lesbians in general may be less focused on weight, for example, than is the case among straight women.
“This may mean that we in the public health community need to come up with more tailored messages to reach these groups, just as car dealers do when they want to reach a specific target audience,” Conron told Msnbc.com.