Drunkorexia — the practice of skipping meals or exercising heavily before consuming alcohol — isn’t a new thing but the lengths to which some college kids will go to just to get “drunker” these days is rather alarming.
Researchers recently polled over 1,000 students, most from the University of Houston, who had drunk heavily at least once in the past 30 days. The study, presented this week at the Research Society on Alcoholism’s annual meeting, is claiming that 8 out of the college students they polled claimed to have “recently engaged in at least one behavior related to drunkorexia” including skipping meals, vomiting before drinking or taking a laxative.
“College students appear to engage in these behaviors to increase alcohol effects or reduce alcohol-related calories by engaging in bulimic-type or diet/exercising/calorie-restricted eating behaviors,” Dipali Rinker, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Houston and author of the study, said in a statement. “Our information examines the association between these different types of drunkorexic behaviors and other predictors of problem drinking among college students, such as gender differences.”
In case you’re not quite sure why these are all bad ideas…
“Then there are the short-term consequences. Having food in your stomach reduces peak blood alcohol levels about a third, so if you flip that, your peak level is significantly higher, increasing risk of blackouts, injuries and poor decisions. The consequences are worse than the consequences of not saving the calories.”
And now, for the usual suspects…
Rinker found that students who lived in fraternity and sorority houses were the most likely to report engaging in the behavior, followed by those living in residence halls. Women were more likely to engage in the bulimic-type behaviors than men, according to the study, but both genders were equally likely to engage in some kind of drunkorexic behavior, such as skipping meals.
“Long term, it’s not a good idea to skip nutritious meals in order to consume more calories from alcohol,” Aaron White, the program director of college and underage drinking prevention at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said.
[via Inside Higher Ed]