What Leads to Drunkorexia on College Campuses

Have you ever heard of “drunkorexia”? What exactly is it? It is a major issue prevalent at colleges around the world. It mostly affects females who feel pressured to be skinny. Due to a constant barrage of body image messages, fear of gaining weight, and the stress of meeting academic standards and deadlines, it’s no wonder college students turn to alcohol to let off steam. But binge drinking, which affects 2 out of 5 students, can be deadly when combined with a lack of food intake.

Drunkorexia is defined as intentional starvation of oneself along with bingeing and purging that is then combined with abuse of alcohol”. It is used as a way to ‘control’ weight. During this practice, people will avoid food so they can ingest more alcohol, and therefore won’t consume the huge amount of extra calories that would be consumed with both food and alcohol.

Drunkorexia can be particularly dangerous because it combines two disorders – alcohol abuse and an eating disorder. While it is not a new thing on college campuses, it is rising in popularity. Without food in the system to slow the absorption of the alcohol, students feel the effects of alcohol on their body a lot quicker. This can quickly turn into a scary situation because of the risk of dehydration, depletion of vitamins in the body, and even death.

Key Points:

  • 1From the University of Houston, researchers found that out of 1,184 college students reported drinking alcohol heavily at least one time in the past 30 days.
  • 2Research has shown that women tend to drink more and are more likely than men to engage in bulimic type behaviors, and tend to experience more alcohol related problems.
  • 3Excessive drinking combined with starvation can lead to physical and psychological consequences.

Drunkorexia is a phrase to describe self-imposed starvation with binge eating and/or purging combined with alcohol abuse, and is an extreme form of weight control.

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