Published: Fresh U. July 4, 2016. This article was one of six featured articles of the week. Viewable here.
Partying in college is an age-old tradition which predates many of the modern universities who perhaps proudly boast to be labeled a party school – a reputation which attracts applicants. The dangers of partying have become more emphasized over time – heightened risks of sexual assaults, alcohol poisoning, DUIs, etc. – but a new fad, coined drunkorexia, is seen to be more common than once thought, especially on college campuses.
Drunkorexia is an act in which meals are skipped in order to either save calories for later consumption of alcohol or to intensify the effects of alcohol consumption. According to Science Daily, because alcohol works quicker on an empty stomach – food acts to absorb alcohol and slows down the process of getting drunk – those who partake in either skipping meals or bingeing and purging face a number of consequences.
“Potential outcomes may include less inhibition that could lead to more negative alcohol-related consequences,” Dipali V. Rinker, a researcher and professor from the University of Houston said, as reported by Science Daily. “Additionally, restricting caloric intake to those from alcohol could lead to vitamin depletion, as it may keep the individual from eating more nutrient-dense foods.”
Rinker was a lead researcher in a University of Houston survey of 1,200 college students which detailed drinking behavior and found that more than 80 percent of those surveyed were engaging in behaviors related to drunkorexia, according to USA Today.
USA Today also reported that males, who are shown to engage in riskier behaviors, especially involving alcohol, are as if not more likely to engage in behaviors linked to drunkorexia than females. The University of Texas at Austin also published this fact sheet which highlights studies that suggests 30 percent of females between the age of 18 and 23 “diet so they can drink.”
The sheet suggests that, to be safe, alcohol consumers should not restrict food intake before drinking, limit the number of drinks they consume and exercise to maintain heart health.