Drunkorexia: Binge Drinking and Harmful Eating Disorders go Hand-in-hand
Taking a drink or two may help you take the edge off a stressful day or bring cheer with your friends at the weekend. But beware! Taking large amounts of alcohol may make you vulnerable to eating disorders that could be deleterious to your health.
Drunkorexia, an eating disorder characterized by disorganized eating patterns to offset the negative effects of excess alcohol consumption, is a fairly common complication of binge drinking, researchers have found. The study team analyzed the drinking patterns of 479 female Australian University students aged 18-24 years, and found that over 80% of the students had engaged in drunkorexic behavior in the last three months.
Close to 30 percent of women that developed the condition as a result of binge drinking were found to deliberately skip meals, consumed large-caloric, sugar-free alcoholic beverages, and induced vomiting or purging after drinking to lower the ingested calories in alcohol at least 25 percent of the time.
This new insight into mental health issues resulting from alcohol consumption should help clinicians develop appropriate interventions and support for young people with alcohol drinking problems. Seek help if you have or know someone with drunkorexia.