Not eating enough and drinking too much might be a practice familiar to many slightly un-hinged urbanites, but now scientists at the University of Missouri have released a study showing just how widespread this so-called “drunkorexia” problem is, especially among young people (our future!). According to findings released on Monday, 16% of college women surveyed reported restricting food calories in order to “save them” for alcohol.

Via The New York Daily News:

Motivations for drunkorexia include staying slim, getting intoxicated faster, and saving money that would otherwise be spent on food to buy alcohol.

Sounds great, right? No! As someone who gets sick from a single glass of wine if I haven’t consumed a solid meal in the past few hours, I may be biased here, but this is a quick ticket to pukey hangover city if ever I did hear of one. But here are some more scientifically accurate ways in which it’s incredibly bad for you:

Apart from each other, depriving the brain of adequate nutrition and consuming large amounts of alcohol can be dangerous,” researcher Victoria Osborne said. “Together, they can cause short- and long-term cognitive problems including difficulty concentrating, studying, and making decisions.”

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She also repeats the horrifying figure that the only “safe” amount of alcohol doctors recommend you should drink is two drinks for men, and one measly drink for women, which, let’s be honest, not even my tiny, non-heavy-drinking mother abides by. (She will have two glasses of wine with her dinner, and there’s nothing you can do to stop her.) But even if you’re not going to stick to that, its better not to declare an all out war on your lovely body. Seriously, if you’re going to drink, you need to eat something first. I know that’s heresy to people who live in New York and consider champagne, cigarettes, and the odd canapé to be a well-balanced supper, but do it for your cognitive function if nothing else. It’s hard to make champagne money without proper cognitive function, no?

PS: Let’s stop calling things “[   ]-orexia,” okay? It sort of de-legitimizes actual eating disorders, which should be taken seriously, as they kill people.

(Via NYDN)