While “drunkorexia” is not a medical term, it has become easily understood slang for the practice of swapping food calories for those in alcohol.
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.
As part of her job as communications director at the Colorado State University Health Network, Pam McCracken speaks and listens to students on the dangers of alcohol. “They will think, `I’m drinking, therefore I don’t want to eat so much, so I’m going to have a mixed green salad and a Diet Coke,’ ” says McCracken. “I say, `Look, the day that you’re consuming alcohol is not the day to cut back on your calories.’ “