Drunkorexia: an emerging trend in young adults

  • Matteo LupiEmail author
  • Giovanni Martinotti
  • Massimo Di Giannantonio
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Food and Addiction



Several studies demonstrated an association between alcohol consumption and unhealthy food habits. Particularly, in young adults it has been observed the tendency to use extreme forms of weight control as a way to compensate planned binge drinking.


A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 4275 healthy subjects (43.9% males; 56.1% females), aged between 18 and 26 (mean age 22.04). The survey investigated socio-economic characteristics, drinking habits with a specific focus on binge consumption, abnormal eating behaviours and psychoactive substance use.


34.1% of the overall sample reported to limit their calorie intake before drinking, with no significant gender difference. A significant correlation was found between drunkorexic attitudes and, respectively, binge drinking behaviours (p < .01), use of cocaine (p < .01), and use of Novel Psychoactive Substances (p < .01).


Our data identified drunkorexia as a common behaviour among Italian young adults. Raising awareness on drunkorexia may help health care providers to timely address and approach its possible short- and long-term consequences.

Level of evidence

Level V (descriptive study).


Drunkorexia Binge drinking Alcohol Young adults Eating habits 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

This manuscript was entirely funded by the authors, and no pharmaceutical companies were informed of or were involved in the review. All authors contributed to this review with equal efforts. The authors have no potential conflict of interest directly relevant to the contents of the manuscript.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matteo Lupi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giovanni Martinotti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Massimo Di Giannantonio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences“G. d’Annunzio” UniversityChietiItaly
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Clinical ScienceUniversity of HertfordshireHertsUK

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