By Zack Srnis
Drinking seems to be the favorite pastime of most college students. Beer is, unfortunately, filled with calories. Many college students have worked around this by limiting the amount of calories they consume during the day. This allows them to enjoy as many beers as they want with their friends.
“Drunkorexia” forces college student to eat very small amounts of food, if they decide to eat any food at all.
Ron Hardy, a psychologist from Oberlin, talked about what is known about the practice of drunkorexia on college campuses.
“I have seen college students believe that they can enjoy drinks as often as they like if they cut down on eating,” Hardy said. “It is the mindset that they do not have to eat, and that beer feels like it fills them up.”
Hardy said that college students think they can avoid the dreaded “beer gut” by consuming alcohol instead of food a few days out of the week.
“Students do not want to gain weight,” Hardy said. “They want to drink and attend various parties in which alcohol is consumed by the multitudes. They do not want their body to show any weight gain as a resolute of the massive drinking.”
Tanya Wilhelms, a nutritionist from Lorain, said that although alcohol contains calories, it is not a substitute for a well-balanced meal.
“College kids may feel good at the time, and it might take a while to feel the effects, but it will hurt them later on,” Wilhelms said. “The body eventually will require those nutrients, or the body will simply fail to function.”
Hardy said she feels that there is a young person arrogance that gives way for drunkorexia.
“Students feel like they are invincible at that age,” Hardy said. “They do not think of the long term effects of the malnutrition. They think that they will not feel any negative effects.”
Hardy said that students need to treat their body with respect and not treat it like it is a dump for greasy food and alcohol.
“Students want participate in every party on campus,” Hardy said. “This does not mean students need to treat their body poorly. Alcohol consumption should be monitored — your body will perform better as a result.”
Madison Bosa, a psychologist in Cleveland, said that university students need to be aware of their family’s history with alcohol. If there are alcoholics in the family, one is more likely to become one in the future as well.
“If a student’s parents are alcoholics, then that student is also susceptible to alcohol addiction. Students that hold their drinks well are most likely to become alcoholics down the line,” Bosa said. “It is the process of needing more alcohol to get drunk that can lead to abuse.”