College Students’ Compensatory Eating and Behaviors in Response to Alcohol Consumption

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alcohol, calorie restriction, college students, gender, health, nutrition

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Objective: This study investigates college students’ behaviors in response to the calories ingested by drinking alcohol.

Participants and Methods: A sample of 274 nonclinical undergraduate alcohol drinkers completed an online survey asking about behaviors that students employed to make up for calories in alcohol or to get drunk more effectively. Drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, disordered eating, and belief in a just world were also assessed to evaluate scale validity.

Results: Participants reported engaging in exercise and dietary restriction as calorie control strategies both proactively and reactively and tended toward calorie restriction activities during drinking episodes. Relatively few reported engaging in more drastic strategies such as purging or laxative use. Women scored higher than men, and students living with friends scored higher than other students.

Conclusions: These findings have implications for health initiatives aimed at college students and suggest the importance of considering both social and cognitive

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of American College Health, v. 60, issue 5, p. 350-356