Sunday, 2 March 2008

Orthorexia and Drunkorexia?

There's anorexia: Extreme restriction of calories combined with fear of gaining weight and body image distortion.

There's also bulimia: binge eating followed by inappropriate methods of weight control (purging) like vomiting, fasting, laxatives, compulsive exercise.

But did you know there's also:

Manorexia: The male version of anorexia.

Binge Eating Disorder: Obsessive overeating, especially foods high in salt and sugar, that doesn't involve purging or excessive exercise to compensate for the high calorie intake.

Diabulimia: Diabetics who avoid taking insulin in order to control weight. Despite the name, purging is not typically involved.

And the newest additions:

Orthorexia: An obsession with what is perceived as unhealthy- eliminating processed foods, fats, preservatives, for example. People with this condition can dangerously deprive themselves of needed nutrients.

Drunkorexia: Caloric restriction or bingeing and purging combined with alcohol abuse.

Drunkorexia isn't an official medical term, yet, but is being used by more frequently by bloggers and the media. It describes a phenomenon that's becoming very common- anorexics and bulimics that abuse alcohol. According to experts, this is a result of society's obsession with thinness and the social acceptance of drinking and drugs- partly due to the fact that rehab among celebrities is depicted in the media as being normal and even 'chic'.

Statistics suggest that 30% of 18-24 year olds, mostly women, skip food in order to drink more.

About 25 to 33% of bulimics also struggle with alcohol or drugs, according to a study published last year in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Between 20 and 25% of anorexics have substance abuse problems, the study found.

A growing number of researchers are examining the psychological and neurological links between eating disorders and substance abuse: does eating a chocolate bar, or bingeing and purging, stimulate the same pleasure centers in the brain as drugs or alcohol?

We're realizing that food can function in the same way as alcohol or drugs but that causes some complications with treatments: the response to addiction is abstinence but abstaining from food isn't an option.

Source: NY Times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's next, Crackorexia?
- G