Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Drunkorexia:' A recipe for disaster

Date:
October 17, 2011
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
It is well-known that eating disorders are common among teens and college students. Heavy alcohol consumption is another well-known unhealthy habit of this age group. A new study shows that when college students combine these two unhealthy habits, their long-term health may be affected. "Drunkorexia" is a new term coined by the media to describe the combination of disordered eating and heavy alcohol consumption.

It is well known that eating disorders are common among teens and college students. Heavy alcohol consumption is another well-known unhealthy habit of this age group. A new study from the University of Missouri shows that when college students combine these two unhealthy habits, their long-term health may be affected. "Drunkorexia" is a new term coined by the media to describe the combination of disordered eating and heavy alcohol consumption.

Related Articles


Victoria Osborne, assistant professor of social work and public health, examined the relationship between alcohol misuse and disordered eating, including calorie restriction and purging. Researchers found that 16 percent of those surveyed reported restricting calories to "save them" for drinking. Of the respondents, about three times as many women reported engaging in the behavior than men. Motivations for "drunkorexia" include preventing weight gain, getting intoxicated faster and saving money that would be spent on food to buy alcohol.

According to Osborne, "drunkorexia" can have dangerous cognitive, behavioral and physical consequences. It also puts people at risk for developing more serious eating disorders or addiction problems.

"Apart from each other, depriving the brain of adequate nutrition and consuming large amounts of alcohol can be dangerous," Osborne said. "Together, they can cause short- and long-term cognitive problems including difficulty concentrating, studying and making decisions."

People who participate in disordered eating combined with binge drinking are also more at risk for violence, risky sexual behavior, alcohol poisoning, substance abuse and chronic diseases later in life. Osborne says women are at higher risk for health problems related to binge drinking because they metabolize alcohol differently than men. This means women can get sick faster and suffer damage to vital organs sooner than men might.

"It is important that young people understand the risks of this behavior," Osborne said. "We teach college students about the dangers of binge drinking, but most of them do not consider the long-term health consequences of disordered eating and heavy drinking, either alone or combined."

Many college campuses have alcohol education programs for students. The MU Wellness Resource Center works to educate students and prevent the misuse and abuse of alcohol. The Center's services include peer education programs that advocate the responsible use of alcohol; workshops and classes that educate students about the dangers of alcohol abuse; and CHEERS, a program that provides free non-alcoholic drinks to designated drivers.

"We are aware that this is a problem on campus, and we're working to address it through research and educational programs," said Kim Dude, director of the Wellness Resource Center. "The at-risk drinking rate among our students has declined in recent years, so we know our prevention efforts are headed in the right direction."

Osborne has a dual appointment in the School of Social Work in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences and the Master of Public Health Program. The study was co-authored by Kenneth Sher, Curator's Distinguished Professor of psychological sciences and Rachel Winograd, a doctoral student in psychological sciences. The study was presented at the American Psychopathological Association in March and the Research Society on Alcoholism in June.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "'Drunkorexia:' A recipe for disaster." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111017171506.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2011, October 17). 'Drunkorexia:' A recipe for disaster. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111017171506.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "'Drunkorexia:' A recipe for disaster." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111017171506.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins