‘Drunkorexia’ increasingly a problem for Australian and U.S. students

Many female university students in Australia have taken to starving or overexerting themselves to offset weight gain from binging on alcohol, a new study has found.

The phenomenon has been termed as ‘drunkorexia’ and is a common occurrence on U.S. campuses as well. But UniSA School of Psychology Social Work and Social Policy PhD student Alissa Knight recently published a pioneering study on the subject within an Australian context.

Surveying female undergraduate students from across the country, she found that nearly six in 10 had recently engaged in drunkorexia behaviors.

“A considerable percentage (57.7%) of our sample reported frequently engaging in various disordered eating and other extreme weight-control behaviours 25% of the time or more in the three months before, while at, or after a planned drinking event, to compensate for anticipated alcohol calories,” Knight said, according to Business Insider Australia.

“The most common drunkorexia behaviours in young female university students were skipping meals before a drinking event (37.5%), consuming low-calorie or sugar-free alcoholic beverages during a drinking event (46.3%), and exercising after a drinking event (51.2%).”

She attributed ‘drunkorexia’ to young women’s need to embrace two prominent social norms – drinking and thinness.

While Australian female university students may engage in ‘drunkorexia’ to remain thin, it appears that the U.S. university students do it to get more intoxicated or get drunk faster.

According to Medscape Medical News, Dipali V. Rinker, a research assistant professor at the University of Houston, found that 8 in 10 college students, including many men, recently engaged in ‘drunkorexia’-related actions.

Image via Pexels.

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