Calorie info sees rise in ‘drinkorexics’

Labels carrying calorie information on beer, wine and spirits are causing an increased number of people to swap food for alcohol, prompting concern among health experts.

SpiritsDubbed by doctors as “drinkorexia”, an increased number of people are swapping their food calories for alcoholic drinks which contain little or no nutritional value, according to The Times.

Worrying also is that people therefore will tend to drink on an empty stomach, making the effects of alcohol more acute.

Adrienne Key, consultant psychiatrist and lead clinician for eating disorders at the Priory Hospital, Roehampton, said that calorie information on drinks products was harmful for those with eating problems.

She said, “Recently the advertising of the number of calories in a glass of wine and other drinks, designed to help the population as a whole control their intake, has led to a minority adapting their diets to cut out food to allow for a drink. When someone already has a low weight, it quickly becomes an issue.”

Susan Ringwood, from Beat, the eating disorders charity, said, “We do see these cases, particularly when people are binge drinking at the weekend.”

“It is not necessarily an eating disorder, but it is a disordered approach towards eating and people can easily find themselves trapped by it.”

“If you are trying to live off one or two hundred calories a day, people find it easier to consume small amount of alcohol and briefly feel better than eat food,” she said.

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