Many of us have heard that “eating is cheating” when it comes to drinking, but how dangerous is it to actually believe and apply that concept in reality?

Well according to new research carried out by the University of Houston, combining alcohol consumption with more extreme diet type behaviours can lead to a condition called “drunkorexia”.

Science Daily have defined drunkorexia as “a non-medical term that refers to a combination of alcohol with diet-related behaviours such as food restriction, excessive exercising, or bingeing and purging” – basically cutting calories in various ways to avoid alcohol-related weight-gain, get drunk easier or both.

Although drunkorexia is not a new phenomenon, this study suggests it is now affecting more people than ever before with 80% of the 1,184 students surveyed having recently engaged in at least one drunkorexic behaviour.

Assistant Professor Dipali Rinker who was involved in the study said: "College students appear to engage in these behaviors to increase alcohol effects or reduce alcohol-related calories by engaging in bulimic-type or diet/exercising/calorie-restricted eating behaviours." 

According to the study, women were more likely to engage in bulimic-type behaviours than men but men and women were equally likely to skip meals if they planned a heavy night of drinking.

Experts have warned that drunkorexic behaviour can have negative consequences in both the long and short terms.

Not eating before drinking heavily increases the chances of blacking out, being injured and making decisions you'll regret later on.

As always drinking in moderation is advised, as is following a healthy diet and exercise regime.