A new study conducted from early 2012 – present by the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention shows nearly 1 in 6 adults engaging in binge drinking at least 4x per month. Of this statistic, the largest group of drinkers appears to be between 18 and 34 years of age. Though not specifically to blame, a new form of binge drinking, coined “Drunkorexia” is steadily gaining popularity among this demographic.
CDC studies from 2006 indicate the cost per average binge drinker to be $746, including various expenses, such as health care, auto accidents, STDs, and violence.
To sum it up, “Drunkorexia” refers to a form of binge drinking where young men and women consciously limit their food intake as a way of reserving calories for alcohol consumption; a practice that has been found to enhance the risks of unprotected sex and overdose.
A recent study, involving 227 York University students – ages 17 – 21 – showcased the three main types of eating disorders, including emotional eating, dieting, and eating as a direct response to external stimuli as opposed to hunger. Of these three types, dieting was found to show the highest risk for alcohol abuse.
This alcohol dieting practice is even more concerning, provided the fact that alcohol and weight loss are mortal enemies. Though the occasional drink can certainly have its share of health benefits, those choosing to consume massive amounts of alcohol in lieu of healthy calories actually stand to gain weight.
Alcohol is metabolized in a very different way than other beverages and food items. Under typical conditions, the human body is able to obtain its energy from the calories found in proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, which are processed and absorbed by the gastrointestinal system. When alcohol is present, this process is altered. Because the body views alcohol as a toxin, the fluids will receive immediate attention from the digestive system.
When alcohol is consumed on an empty stomach, the molecules within the alcohol diffuse through the walls of the stomach, reaching the liver and brain in a matter of minutes. The process is much slower when the stomach is full, but as soon as food has entered the small intestine, alcohol is given first priority, and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.
To boot, alcohol makes it difficult for the body to properly absorb fat and carbohydrates. As such, the calories that would typically be processed for energy are ultimately converted into body fat and stored away within the body. As such, those seeking to maintain or shrink their waist line through drinking, will actually gain weight over time.
If you or someone you know is dealing with alcohol addiction, our Above It All addiction specialists are available to help. Give us a call 24/7, and find out how you can get on track towards the healthy, fit, and happy lifestyle you’ve been chasing.