Thursday, March 20, 2008

Drunkorexia

Picture from http://www.bbc.co.uk

You won't find 'drunkorexia' in the DSM, the diagnostical manual for mental disorders, but it's a term that's being used to describe current, worrying trends in behaviour among young women.

I blogged before about the increasing problem of binge drinking in young women and the possible outcomes. The problem is now being compounded by young women skipping meals in order to compensate for the number of calories they'll take in during binge drinking episodes.

Behind it is the pressure to stay thin while still enjoying a wild lifestyle.

Besides the dangers of drinking on an empty stomach, the increased likelihood of risky behaviours and the risk of alcohol addiction through binge drinking, this could be a new pathway for the development of eating disorders.

Girls, what are we thinking?

Reference

Drunkorexia snares more young Australians

5 comments:

Beachwriter said...

Personally, I don't think that they will lose much as your metabolism will slow down. Beer and other alcohol is so HIGH in calories they are just replacing fries for a beer.

Not only is it high in calories - it is HIGH in Sugar, too.

SeaSpray said...

This reminds me of the beer diet I erroneously put myself on on the weekends when I was between 18 and 20.

I wouldn't eat anything because I knew I would be having alcohol at nite. I might have lettuce. the beer would go right through me. I would have cotton mouth in the morning and seem to be 3-5 lbs liter. I wasn't really dieting but it was my way of controlling my weight. It did work.

Fortunately for me I was never much of a drinker. Still not. And it was intermittent.

I had never heard of food disorders back then. (1973-1975)

SeaSpray said...

P.S. I do feel concern for some young girls I know because it seems their life DOES revolve around drinking...a lot!

I have heard that alcoholism will hit a woman harder than a man. is that true?

Health Psych said...

Hi Beachwriter,

It's not about losing weight in itself. what's disturbing is the behaviour pattern as a whole. The skipping of meals is so that the calories saved there can offset the calories imbibed in the alcohol binge. Skipping meals to facilitate excessive alcohol consumption with its associated risks, behavioural, physiological and psychological.

Hi Seaspray,

That does sound a little similar!

There is research that shows that, even accounting for differences in body weight between men and women, there are metabolic differences that allow men to tolerate somewhat higher amounts of alcohol, so that similar amounts of alcohol have greater effects in women than men (York & Welte, 1994).

Of course, that's only one article of many.....

York, J. L., & Welte, J. W. (1994). Gender comparisons of alcohol consumption in alcoholic and non-alcoholic populations. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 55, 743-750.

Alison said...

You know, this just makes me want to sit down and cry. The worst thing is the big picture for me.

Overall, we are looking at two problems which almost completely disempower any of us: drunkenness and starving oneself of proper nutrition. But a young woman in the scales of society? Not really high up there in status or the power stakes anyway is she?

Now I shall move towards the outside area of the property and scream.

100 years of women's rights and we not only have to deal with the continuous disempowering mechanisms of our culture, but it's getting worse.

Brilliant post, Hp.