WOMEN have been warned that they risk seriously damaging their health if they adopt a new fad diet which encourages boozing instead of eating.
Drunkorexia is the latest craze to come from the US which showbiz insiders claim is followed by Hollywood stars including Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton, Tara Reid and Paris Hilton.
Perhaps the most famous drunkorexic of all time is Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous, who famously lived on Bolly and Stoli, who only once, in the entire history of the sitcom, ever asked for “some of that food stuff” and who was fashionably skeletal.
Now UK health experts are increasingly worried that more and more women are following the trend in order to stay slim while drinking heavily.
Denying themselves two biscuits would allow an average woman to drink three vodkas and diet colas without gaining any weight.
And cutting out the 700 calories found in a serving of spaghetti bolognese means a woman could drink up to five alcopops without piling on the pounds.
Some health experts blame diets which encourage calorie counting for supporting the trend.
Professor Janet Treasure, head of the Eating Disorder Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, described drunkorexia as “very dangerous”.
“It is more common with bulimia than anorexia, but you get the combination of empty calories with no nutritional value, and the risky behaviour that goes with being drunk.”
Marie Griffiths of the Wales-based Slimtone weight loss organisation said: “Any social life includes eating and drinking alcohol.
“I know a lot of people who will factor in the odd glass of wine into their weekly calorie intake.
“But cutting out a healthy diet in order to drink heavily obviously could be very detrimental to your health. Liver complaints are on the rise in young women already.
“And if you don’t eat all day then go out drinking, your blood sugar levels will be so low that whatever you drink will affect you that much more.”
Endorsements for dumping healthy food for alcohol are easily found on social networking sites, including Facebook.
The creator of the Anorexia Binge Drinking Diet society, which has at least one registered member from Wales, writes: “Anyone trying to lose weight and look good for the ladies?
“I created a new diet for everyone in college. Don’t eat all day, then go get s***faced every night. Drink until you throw up!
“No calories, you have to lose weight. ( I think).”
And the Binge Drinking Appreciation Group includes in its justification of binge-drinking: “If you’re going to be a fat b*****d in your later years, you may as well enjoy the process.”
In one of the most comprehensive studies into the link between alcohol and food suppression, research suggested that people with eating disorders are five times more likely to be substance abusers, while substance abusers are 11 times more likely to have eating disorders.
The study also noted that eating disorders and substance abuse have several significant characteristics in common – brain chemistry, family history, stress triggers and the prevalence of affected people also suffering from low self-esteem, depression, anxiety or a history of abuse.
Mary George, spokeswoman for eating disorders charity b-eat, said: “Drunkorexia is a form of behaviour more associated with binge- drinking than eating disorders.
“We are aware of it, but it is in some ways almost belittling to put it in the same bracket as eating disorders, which are a form of mental illness.
“Having said that, it is certainly not something which we would condone, or dismiss.”
And Mary Wood, chief executive of the eating-disorder charity Foundations UK, said: “It’s hard to generalise about the link between eating disorders and alcohol. There are so many ways in which the two work together – psychologically, physiologically and culturally.
“One thing is certain, however: all eating disorders are a way of coping with emotional pain, and so is alcohol.”
source: Celtic Weekly Newspapers