Drunkorexia: Normative behavior or gateway to alcohol and eating pathology?

Raluca M. Simons, Jamie M. Hansen, Jeffrey S. Simons, Lindsey Hovrud, Austin M. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Drunkorexia is characterized by a group of behaviors designed to minimize caloric intake while maximizing levels of alcohol intoxication. Individuals plan and modify their diet, via skipping meals, exercising, or purging, to save calories for a night of alcohol consumption. Minimal research has examined risk factors related to drunkorexia, and little is known regarding associated problems. We used structural equation modeling to test associations between coping and enhancement motives, drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating (i.e., bulimia behaviors) and drinking among an at-risk college population (N = 364). Drive for thinness and alcohol coping motives were positively associated with drunkorexia. Notably, drunkorexia was associated with alcohol-related outcomes, but not bulimia. While common risk factors are shared with eating pathology, drunkorexia appears to be a unique construct apart from bulimia behaviors. Results indicate drunkorexia behaviors may extend past normative drinking and place individuals at increased risk of alcohol-related problems. The current study contributes to greater understanding of functional models and maladaptive outcomes related to drunkorexia behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106577
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bulimia
  • Drinking
  • Drunkorexia
  • Motives
  • Structural equation model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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