The federal government is still seeking answers as to why the majority of lesbians are obese and U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill, which now totals $2.87 million.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) study is now in its fourth year, receiving an additional $670,567 for fiscal year 2014. The project seeks to determine why “nearly three-quarters of adult lesbians overweight or obese,” and why gay males are not.
In just two years the project’s budget has nearly doubled, growing from $1.5 million to nearly $3 million today, despite fears that sequestration could jeopardize the project and other NIH funding.
The study, which is being led by S. Bryn Austin, an associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, operates on the premise that there is a “striking interplay of gender and sexual orientation in obesity disparities.”
The researchers have been busier since last year, when the project had yielded only one paper. Those results concluded that gay and bisexual males had a “greater desire for toned muscles” than straight men.
The project now claims that lesbians have lower “athletic-self esteem” that may lead to higher rates of obesity. Another research paper found that lesbians are more likely to see themselves at a healthy weight, even though they are not.