At first glance, the disease might seem made-up, like a word put together from “drunk” and “anorexia.”
But the condition, which affects countless men and women across the globe, is far from funny.
“Drunk-o-rexia” is the name that’s been given to a silent disorder rampant in young people today. As with anorexia, the eating disorder characterized by major caloric restriction, people who struggle with drunkorexia make an extreme effort to cut calories dangerously. They’re likely to skip some or all meals during a day, then binge drink at night.
For them, eating way less than the human body needs is seen as a safeguard against gaining weight from the extra calories they’ll take in at night when the drinking begins. In other words, people who suffer from drunkorexia starve all day to justify a drinking habit.
In women, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is characterized by more than three drinks in a night, or more than a minimum of seven in a week. For men, it’s slightly higher at four drinks in a night, or over a minimum of fourteen in a week. Assuming each drink has 150 calories, an extra 7 -8 drinks a week would take almost a month to add up to even one pound of weight gain.
Either people are drinking way more than 3-4 a night, or they don’t believe in the facts of weight gain and loss. Either way, it’s unhealthy, and they need support. A dangerous combination of delusion and alcohol addiction are working together to starve young people’s bodies.
People with drunkorexia suffer from both poor body image and a tendency towards drinking problems. Eating disorders share many characteristics with substance abuse and addiction, and that makes drunkorexia all the more insidious.
Alcohol’s effect is intensified on an empty stomach, and the combination of not eating enough and drinking too much can easily wreak havoc on the human body.
The first step that society can take towards a solution is simply accepting that there’s a problem. If people continue to ignore this very dangerous issue, deaths from alcohol and anorexia will continue in the pattern they’ve taken, while those afflicted will continue to go unnoticed.
It’s time to take a stance and speak out against unhealthy patterns of eating and substance abuse.