Drunkorexia Creating A Buzz Among College Students

By: Stephanie Palmer Email
By: Stephanie Palmer Email

For decades excessive drinking on college campuses has been a problem. Now , a calorie-swapping trend is getting some attention. It is called drunkorexia.

KBTX medical contributor Dr. Xenakis says it is where a person gives up food for alcohol.

"It is actually two words drunk and -rexic coming from anorexia," said Dr. Xenakis.

He says the condition is common among college students.

"If they know that they are going to be drinking at night, they don't eat breakfast, lunch or supper and replace those calories with alcohol," said Dr. Xenakis.

Dr. Xenakis says about 30% of college students between 18 and 23 replace eating when they binge drink with alcohol.

"That's pretty scary for somebody to do that themselves," said Anthony Martinez. "It leaves them even more susceptible to the dangers of alcohol."

Susie Varedy is a biomedical science major. Varedy says she is well aware of the effects of drinking excessive alcohol and not eating.

"Everything that you remembered for that week for the test, you will forget about it because all of the alcohol will just erase it," she said.

Other effects of drunkorexia include impaired memory, mood swings and the inability to handle stress.

"If you are having problems with coping with stress at school or with your personal life you don't want to hide by drinking alcohol," said Dr. Xenakis. "If you are having problems with your body image, you don't want to hide it by not eating."

He says the condition is more common among women than men, about 3 to 1. The impaired state also leaves women at greater risk to being the victims of date rape, being robbed or assaulted.

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