Never heard of “Drunkorexia”? It’s a combination of alcoholism, bulimia and anorexia, all under the guise of a glamorous party lifestyle. Like most eating disorders, it mostly affects women, and the disorder is particularly prevalent on university campuses. College binge drinking is on the rise, while young women feel as pressured as ever to stay thin.
To counter the high choleric intake accompanying binge drinking, young women with the disorder starve themselves before going out. After drinking large amounts of alcohol, they often overeat, and then purge. Heavy drinking on an empty stomach makes throwing up easier. “When I was a freshman, my roommate and I would consume less than 300 calories on days that we were going to go out drinking,” one Harvard student told HerCampus.com. “We would eat egg whites for breakfast and then a vegan boca burger with mustard and no bun for lunch and dinner. We would also only drink water and black coffee. We would eat our meals together and encourage each other not to eat anything else. I cringe now thinking about it.”
Binge drinking allows “drunkorexics” to cover up their purge/binge behavior. One student described how her friend would binge on booze and then pizza: “She’d claim she was so drunk and didn’t mean to throw up but it was clearly intentional.”
Although drunkorexia is not an official medical term, it is a serous medical condition. Patients who seek treatment for the condition must be treated both for the eating disorder and the alcoholism. Yet many young women don’t realize how dangerous the condition can be.