Drunkorexia

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Drunkorexia, a slang term for a condition where people (mostly women) routinely avoid food in order to free up more calories for alcohol, is apparently big on college campuses. According to a piece by Kristen Browning-Blas that appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

And as the college semester is in full swing, campus counselors hear the term in the context of alcohol education and eating disorders. “It’s a sensationalized term, but it’s a tangible idea for students,” acknowledges Emily Hedstrom-Lieser of the Drug, Alcohol & Tobacco Education Office at the University of Northern Colorado. Students at the school are putting up bulletin boards in residence halls on the topic, and creating a series of events for National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, Monday through Friday.

Apparently this is National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (or NCAAW). Who knew?

While campus health centers have no particular treatment tactics for Drunkorexia they are apparently well versed in dealing with excessive alcohol coupled with eating disorders.

According to the article, one psychologist, Felicia Greher of the University of Colorado at Boulder, has some tactics: “We look at the caloric restriction, the binge drinking and ask how is it serving them,” she says. “Then we identify other, healthier ways to get these needs met.”

And what would those healthier ways be? I guess it sort of depends on what you mean by healthy. Part of the problem here is that merely being conscious of the caloric content of alcoholic beverages is not itself a nasty physical and psychological disorder. How do you cut calories and still drink heavily? Well, simple: vodka on the rocks.

If, however, college psychologists are interested in helping students make radical changes to their lifestyles to facilitate wholesome socializing and moderate alcohol consumption, well that’s a much bigger project. Good luck with that one. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer