You know what’s worse than reading about the latest alleged trend that reflects poorly on the people of your age group, race and/or gender? When you are guilty of said questionable behavior. Whomp. Having just remarked about my habit of skipping calories on days that I plan to drink so that I can waste them on the empty ones that come with a vodka cran or a gin+tonic, I felt some kinda way when I read the Daily Mail’s latest gasp-worthy headline: “Drunkorexia: young women skip meals so they can save calories for drinking”. EEK!

The piece is informed by a study conducted at the University of Missouri, which found that 16 percent of respondents admitted to “saving” calories for booze on days in which they planned to indulge in heavy drinking. The habit was three times more common among the female participants, who also mentioned wanting to lose weight and save money

Victoria Osborne, assistant professor of social work and public health for UMissouri warned of the dangers of this practice: “Apart from each other depriving the brain of adequate nutrition and consuming large amounts of alcohol can be dangerous.” The phrase ‘drunkorexic’ was created by dietitians who believe there is a connection between binge drinking and eating disorders. Combining the habit of routinely skipping meals while overindulging in alcohol can increase the risk of both developing serious eating disorders and having alcohol poisoning, along with risky sexual behavior and (unnamed) chronic illnesses later in life, the Mail reports.

Other studies have also revealed a link between eating disorders and substance abuse; up to a third of bulimics reportedly struggle with alcohol or drug related problems and some 36 percent of women receiving treatment for alcohol abuse have also admitted to having issues with food.

Welp. I’ll say this: I think that the ‘drunkorexia’ name is a little dangerous, because it can enter the slang lexicon and become a ‘cute’ little word that trivializes the severity of actual anorexia. It also labels what is for some merely a bad habit (albeit a dangerous one) as a disease before an actual disease has been identified. But its definitely food for thought.

Do you ever skip meals to save room for drinking?

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