'Drunkorexia' leads students to risky behaviour

New research by Simon Fraser University grad student Daniella Sieukaran is the first to study the long-term relationship between dieting and heavy drinking among young adults.

Known as “drunkorexia,” it is a growing phenomenon with post-secondary in which young women, and sometimes men, restrict their diets in order to reserve calories for consuming large quantities of alcohol.

The research found this dangerous combination of alcohol abuse and can lead to greater alcohol-associated risk behaviours, such as engaging in unprotected sex after , and alcohol overdose.

Sieukaran, who is pursuing a combined MA/PhD in clinical psychology, presented her research at the Canadian Psychological Association’s 73rdannual convention in Halifax this summer.

Her research surveyed 227 17-21-year-old York University students’ dieting and drinking habits at the beginning and end of a four-month period.

“I wanted to know the effects of dieting and heavy drinking over time,” she says.

Sieukaran found that of three types of disordered eating — dieting, emotional eating, and eating in response to external stimuli rather than hunger — only dieting was associated with increased alcohol-associated risk behaviours.

“With the other types of disordered eating, there was actually a decrease in those types of behaviours,” she says. “So there’s a real connection between dieting and heavy drinking.”

She adds, “It’s a special group of drinkers that we should be focusing on in terms of prevention and treatment programs.”

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Drunkorexia:' A recipe for disaster

Oct 17, 2011

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 ...

Family relationships may protect early teens from alcohol use

Jun 07, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Close family relationships may protect teenagers from alcohol use, according to research by The University of Queensland’s Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research (CYSAR) and the Centre for Adolescent ...

Recommended for you

Australia must improve healthcare rationing

51 minutes ago

Australia's struggling healthcare system is not making best use of available funding when deciding on allocating money to different services and should adopt international best-practice to achieve better healthcare rationing.

Young girl's story may lead Idaho to approve marijuana oil

18 hours ago

(AP)—Ten-year-old Alexis Carey has a rare but intractable form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome. The genetic diseases causes severe and multiple seizures, which often leave parents guessing if the terror of watching their child ...

Psychology of food choice: Challenging the status quo

Mar 01, 2015

Researchers are challenging conventional beliefs about the effectiveness of traditional strategies for encouraging healthy eating. The symposium, "Challenging Misconceptions About the Psychology of Food Choice," includes ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

JGHunter
not rated yet Aug 13, 2012
I don't want to live on this planet anymore >:(

*looks for a link to apply to that Mars Big Brother project*

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.