A new study published in Women’s Health Issues, the official journal of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health based at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University (GW), found that a 12-16 week intervention program implemented in ten cities in the U.S. helped lesbian and bisexual women develop healthier habits, such as increased physical activity. The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health to specifically target this population, who is more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to be obese.
The Healthy Weight in Lesbian and Bisexual Women: Striving for a Healthy Community (HWLB) intervention program involved five different programs developed through partnerships between research organizations and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community organizations. Each program enrolled lesbian and bisexual women age 40 and older who were overweight, and involved weekly group meetings, nutrition education, and physical activity, as well as pre- and post-intervention surveys.
The multi-institutional study was led by Dr. Jane McElroy, associate professor in the department of family and community medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Dr. Susan F. Wood, executive director of the GW Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health at Milken Institute SPH, served as principal investigator on one of the five programs in the study. The authors hope that the success of the programs will lead to the development of more intervention programs in cities around the U.S. to help lesbian and bisexual women.
Read more about the study findings, and methods.