Transgender Nutrition

Transgender Nutrition Scoping Review (2020)

Scoping Review

An evidence scoping review was conducted to determine availability of literature examining hormone therapy, health outcomes and the role of nutrition in transgender individuals. The research question for this scoping review was:

Research Question
What is the extent, range and nature of literature examining the nutrition-related intermediate and long-term health outcomes in individuals who are transgender? Specific sub-topics examined include 1) dietary intake, 2) nutrition-related health disparities, 3) validity and reliability of nutrition assessment methods, and 4) the effects of nutrition interventions/exposures and 5) hormone therapy.

Search Plan

Target Population: Individuals who are transgender. No limits on age. 

Assessment: Validity and reliability of nutrition assessment methods

Interventions: Nutrition interventions, hormone therapy


  • Intermediate Outcomes: Dietary intake, anthropometrics, nutrition-related lab values
  • Health Outcomes: (a) mortality, b) osteoporosis/osteopenia, c) diabetes, d) cardiovascular disease, e) hypertension, f) metabolic syndrome, g) overweight/obesity/underweight, i) eating disorders, j) food insecurity, k) quality of life, and l) alcohol abuse

Locations: All locations. No limits.

Search Dates: 1999 to December 2019

Study Designs: Controlled and non-controlled trials, cohort and cross-sectional studies, qualitative studies, systematic reviews and evidence-based practice guidelines.

Databases: Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Health Technology Assessment Database, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), WHO ICTRP and

Scoping Review Conclusion: 

Transgender individuals have unique nutrition needs, which may vary according to the stage of social and medical transition. While the potential nutrition-related health outcomes of hormone therapy and the prevalence of nutrition-related health outcomes compared to the cisgender population have been reported throughout the literature, there is still a lack of research examining effective methods of implementing nutrition therapy for nutrition professionals working with transgender individuals. A greater base of primary research examining relevant nutrition topics in transgender individuals is needed before there will be sufficient literature to inform high-quality evidence-based clinical nutrition practice guidelines for transgender individuals.

Rozga M, Linsenmeyer W, Cantwell Wood J, Darst V, Gradwell EK. Hormone therapy, health outcomes and the role of nutrition in transgender individuals: A scoping review. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN. Published online September 5, 2020.


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