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Many students are replacing meals with alcohol to avoid consuming calories



Students are skipping meals and drinking alcohol instead. Photo Courtesy of Susan Buck.

Reported by Lauren Boothby

Students in the Lower Mainland are drinking alcohol instead of eating meals to avoid calories and gaining weight.

“Drunkorexia” is a trend that involves drinking rather than eating and the behaviour sometimes includes purging to avoid gaining weight. The behaviour has been linked to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

Some students at Langara seem to be aware of the health risks associated to the trend.

Dock Duncan, a family studies student, does not engage in behaviour associated to “drunkorexia”, but has friends who do.

“Some female friends of mine are very caloric-oriented and they will skip meals if they intend to drink,” Duncan said.

There are many negative side effects that come with having drunkorexia

According to a release from Simon Fraser University, the side effects associated with consuming alcohol are increased when engaging in this behaviour.

Some of the long-term effects of drunkorexia are: liver damage, heart and brain damage, nutritional deficiencies, and advance eating disorders, according to the website for the Addiction Centre.

Michele Bowers, the chair of Langara’s counselling department said that Langara students are not immune to the trend. According to Bowers, eating disorders often coexist with strong emotions and behaviours.

“There is often a lot of denial and shame associated with eating disorders so we don’t often hear the specific details of student behaviours,” wrote Bower in an email.

Langara students are aware that some of their friends have drunkorexia

Frances Torres, a pre-nursing student at Langara, also has friends who swap meals for drinking.

Frances Torres, a pre-nursing student at Langara College.

“I think that’s a pretty bad idea, in my opinion. I drink to have a good time, but I make sure I’m conscious,” said Torres. “I try to drink smart.”

Sofia Lester, a psychology student, also thinks it’s not a healthy decision to make.

“That’s just asking for regret,” she said. “It’s unhealthy. The immediate ramifications are a really freaking bad hangover the next day, but also in the long-run it can affect your health.”


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