Drunkorexia: is it really "just" a university lifestyle choice?

Bethany Griffin, Kathy Vogt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: The current study investigated the prevalence of compensatory behaviours (caloric restriction, increased exercise and bulimic tendencies) in response to alcohol consumption (also known as Drunkorexia) in students, non-students and previous students, as well as beginning to understand the presence of possible predictors of these behaviours (body esteem, sensation seeking).

METHODS: A volunteer sample of students, non-students and previous students (n = 95) completed the Compensatory Eating and Behaviours in Response to Alcohol Consumption Scale, a questionnaire which measures overall Drunkorexia engagement. The participants also completed the Body Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults Scale (BESAA) and the Brief Sensation Seeking Scale (BSSS) to investigate predictors of Drunkorexia.

RESULTS: The results indicated that there was no significant difference in Drunkorexia engagement and behaviours between students, non-students and previous students. It was also found that both low body esteem and high sensation seeking tendencies were significant predictors of Drunkorexia; specifically, the appearance esteem factor of the BESAA and the disinhibition factor of the BSSS.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that Drunkorexia is also present outside of student populations, and therefore, future interventions and research should include non-students in samples. In addition, findings support the idea that Drunkorexia cannot be classified solely as an eating disorder or a substance abuse disorder. As a result of this, further research should be conducted to fully understand why this complex behaviour exists.

EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE LEVEL: III (Evidence obtained from case-control analytic study).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2021-2031
Number of pages11
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Issue number6
Early online date30 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


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