Brooke Randolph, LMHC - DietsInReview.com
Drunkorexia is a new term for me, although unfortunately this isn't the first time I have heard of the phenomenon. Drunkorexia is a term being used to describe a pattern of behavior where young men and women, mostly college students, restrict their food intake to 'save calories' for alcoholic binge drinking. Such choices are fairly widespread, with up to 30 percent of college-aged youth skipping meals to save calories for alcoholic beverages. Drunkorexia does affect both men and women.
Gaining weight and the infamous freshman fifteen is the concern that leads to calorie budgeting and bargaining. The focus seems to be on remaining thin and being able to party; health and nutrition do not seem to enter the equation at all.
Drunkorexia is a concerning trend for the health, safety, and workplace preparation of America's youth. Such choices directly impede any educational goals of these students. Without proper nutrition, one will have more difficulty learning and integrating new material. On an empty stomach, alcohol will also have a stronger effect on "drunkorexics", increasing risk of alcohol poisoning and other dangers from risky sexual choices to drunk driving and accidents causing physical injury. Additionally, some participating in Drunkorexic behaviors use high amounts of alcohol on an empty stomach to make purging easier.The term Drunkorexia suggests an eating disorder, although it is not an official diagnosis nor are there proven treatment methods. Suggested treatment includes substance abuse and eating disorder treatments. Because this seems to be a trend based on social norms, group therapy can be helpful in changing behaviors. Due to the physical and mental risks, prevention of such behaviors needs to be a priority, especially on college campuses. Proper nutrition and healthy choices such as physical exercise can be taught, as well as the dangers of binge drinking and the neurological effects of both alcohol intoxication and poor nutrition.
Learn more about living a healthy lifestyle in college:
Preventing Freshman 15 in a S.N.A.P.
Common Eating Disorders Defined
4 Healthy Eating Tips for College Students