The alcoholic diet that is a hit among young people. Everyone knows it: before a watered party, it is advisable to make a good meal so that you don’t get stuck and avoid being pumped too quickly.

I mean, that was before drunkorexie, the latest “slimming diet” in fashion among students.

What is drunkorexie ?

Recent American and British studies have shown that more and more students are engaging in “drunkorexie” (or “alcoolorexie” in French). Still not recognized in the medical world, this eating disorder combines dangerously alcoholism and anorexia, since it simply consists of replacing meals with alcohol to replace the calories brought in by food with those of drinking.

In 2012, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri found that 67% (!) of American students surveyed were undernourished (or even deprived of meals) for alcohol; four years later, another study in Houston found that 81% of the young people interviewed had been behaving in a similar way to drunkorexia in recent months. Among them, a majority of very young men (22 years old on average), and women (60%).

Faced with such a practice, the first question that comes to mind is of course “why? While students sometimes cite a lack of time (no time to cook before going out to party), a lack of money (choosing between alcohol and food to save money) or a desire to get drunk more quickly (just like binge drinking), drunkorexie seems to be mostly practiced as a “slimming diet”.

Indeed, in our societies where the dictates of slimming and body worship rage, it seems that students concerned about their image and physical appearance are afraid to add the calories of a meal to those provided by alcoholic beverages. So, to avoid gaining weight, they prefer mojitos and vodka shots to good old pasta dishes and chips. Scary, creepy.

The physical and psychological consequences of drunkorexia

Drunkorexia is a practice that unfortunately tends to become more democratic in universities and campuses, as frightening as it may seem. Although it is very dangerous and self-destructive, since it can lead to serious health problems (both physical and psychological).

Indeed, ingesting as few calories as possible while drinking large amounts of alcohol can be synonymous with:

  • Severe dietary deficiencies (due to low fat, carbohydrate and protein intake)
  • Chronic fatigue, anemia, impaired concentration;
  • Risk behaviours: Drunk drinking quickly, students are more likely to have alcoholic comas, drive under the influence of alcohol, fight, etc.
  • Binge eating attacks, with the aim of ingesting as few calories as possible.

All this to avoid gaining a few kilos, and to look like totally unreal beauty cannons that we are sold in pubs or magazines…