Gay Adults More Likely to Binge Drink, Survey Shows

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

Gay Adults More Likely to Binge Drink, Survey Shows

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A study by the U.S. government shows that gay and bisexual people are more likely to have certain lifestyle habits.

According to the 2013 National Health Survey, homosexual and bisexual individuals are more likely to indulge in alcohol and tobacco, as well as regular exercise and doctor visits. The survey also revealed that 1.6 percent of U.S. adults identify as gay, and 0.7 percent as bisexual.

The National Health Survey is conducted each year by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to gauge the health of the U.S. population. This is the survey’s 57th year, although the CDC admits it is the first time they’ve asked participants about sexual orientation. This year about 33,557 adults between ages of 18 to 64 were questioned in face-to-face interviews.

Results show that 33 percent of gay adults are binge drinkers, having more than five alcoholic beverages in one sitting, as opposed to 26 percent of straight adults.

Results show that 33 percent of gay adults are binge drinkers, having more than five alcoholic beverages in one sitting, as opposed to 26 percent of straight adults. Gay people over 18 are more likely to smoke cigarettes at 26 percent, compared to 18 percent of straight individuals. Scientists also found that bisexual people tend to experience more emotional distress.

On the flip side, homosexuals are more inclined to get their flu shots at a ratio of 46 percent to 41 percent. About 56 percent of gay people surveyed had met the federal guidelines for aerobic activity –nearly 10 percent higher than the straight average. Of those questioned, 67 percent of the gay population had taken an HIV test, while just 37 percent of heterosexuals had bothered.

67 percent of the gay population had taken an HIV test, while just 37 percent of heterosexuals had bothered.

National Health Survey and Sexuality

The majority of people surveyed, approximately 96.6 percent, identified as straight, and 1.1 percent said they didn’t know or declined to answer. This amount is in line with previous estimates of one to ten percent of the total population, but lower than usual.

Experts note that some of the subjects may be in the closet, especially in the conservative states. The study does not account for transgender individuals who may identify as straight or gay.

Gary J. Gates, a demographer at the University of California at Los Angeles that studies the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population, was a researcher on the 2013 Health Survey. He stated, “This is a major step forward in trying to remedy some of these gaps in our understanding of the role sexual orientation and gender identity play in people’s health and in their lives.”


Also Read: Are Gay Teens at Higher Risk for Addiction?

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