Report: Food & Nutrition-Related Injustices facing the Transgender Community
This term, I am taking a course called 'Cultural Humility & Food Justice' as part of my Master's of Science in Nutrition at the National University of Natural Medicine.
This course focuses on the institutionalized disparities that affect folks of marginalized cultures, races, ethnicities, genders, and other oppressed identities in the United States.
For a recent assignment, we were asked to explore the specific food & nutrition-related injustices facing a subpopulation in the United States, and I eagerly chose to examine these issues within the context of the trans community.
You can download my full presentation here:
Here are my major takeaways from this assignment:
Observed health disparities among marginalized groups have so much more to do with preexisting biases, barriers to access, lack of information, and discriminatory treatment than they do with objective, scientific differences in the health of individuals in these groups.
One-third of respondents to the US Transgender Survey reported having at least one negative experience with a health care provider in the past year, including verbal, physical, or sexual harassment and denial of care.
There are currently no established nutrition guidelines for practitioners working with trans individuals. This is problematic.
The biggest barrier to health care reported by transgender individuals is lack of access due to lack of sufficient knowledge among providers. This is also problematic.
Nutrition care for trans individuals should address proper wound healing (for folks who have undergone transition surgery), metabolic support for those undergoing hormone therapy, screening and treatment for potential disordered eating & eating disorders (rates of which are higher among trans individuals) and general mental health, wellness, and community support.
Necessary steps for the rectification of health disparities among trans individuals include: affirmative and inclusive patient care, proper education & training for healthcare students and workers, and a commitment to community support and advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights locally and nationally.
I hope you find this presentation informative & insightful. I would absolutely love to hear your feedback, thoughts, or concerns - please don't hesitate to reach out.
**All resources and information cited can be found at the end of the presentation.