It is a disturbing trend – college students who skimp on food to save those calories for alcoholic drinks.
More often than not, those students are young women.
It’s called “drunkorexia.”
Maisie Todd’s college friend struggled with the affliction.
“There isn’t anyone there to tell you what do, or look over your shoulder and she couldn’t deal with it,” said Todd. “She thought she was gaining weight, so she stopped eating, but still kept going out drinking at night – so it became a problem.”
Her story comes as no surprise to the eating disorder specialists at the Renfrew Center in Philadelphia. They frequently work with young women who starve themselves during the day, only to binge drink at night.
“You`re posing different dangers to your body throughout the course of the day,” said Dr. Hahn of the Renfrew Center. “ You`re being exposed to long periods of time when you`re malnourished and not getting what you need and then you`re exposing yourself to high levels of alcohol.”
Ironically the most common group of people to drink high levels of alcohol are young women who regularly exercise, or watch what they eat.
In fact, the Journal of College Student Health found that students who did exercise or diet are 20 percent more likely to have five or more drinks in one sitting.
Dr. Hahn recommends frank discussions and asking tough questions. “Are you taking care of yourself? Are you putting yourself in dangerous situations that you worry about or that I should worry about,” said Dr. Hahn.