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College Students Say 'Drunkorexia' Is More Than a Buzzword

Students who try to watch their calories by not eating before they binge drink are taking an added risk.
Image: Binge drinking
Binge drinking.David Jones / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A growing number of colleges are banning hard liquor on campus in a move to curb extreme drinking — but students are still getting their party on, and some are adding an extra element of risk to their binges.

A group of young people from the Chicago area spoke to NBC News, for TODAY's Campus Undercovered series, about the phenomenon dubbed "drunkorexia."

"If I knew that I was going to be drinking at night, then I would not eat beforehand because of the calories," one student named Alyson said.

Related: Desperate to stay thin, she chose alcohol over food

Another student, Jenn, added, "I almost died last year... I was hospitalized for three weeks.'"

University of Houston Professor Dipali Rinker said in a study of 1,200 students, he found up to 80 percent were restricting calories, overexercising, purging or using laxatives in combination with binge drinking.

"This may be very different than a previous generation of drinkers," Rinker said.

Watch our "Campus Uncovered" report for more on how much college kids are drinking and what schools are — and are not — doing to deal with it.