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The Freshman Fifteen? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Clare Gajkowski   

ImageEvery college student preparing for school has heard of “The Freshman Fifteen.”  But is it a common misconception or somewhat accurate?  It seems logical that students, (dorm students, especially) who eat late night meals and sleep during their free time may gain some pounds. Yet on the other hand, all the walking we do between classes has to be of some advantage, right? 

A study at Rutger’s Cook College in New Jersey tested this theory. They conducted an experiment using 67 students. The students volunteered to weigh in periodically to chart their progress throughout their first school year. Three quarters of the test subjects did in fact gain weight; however, it wasn’t fifteen pounds (the average was seven pounds). Still, it did show a somewhat substantial amount.

UW-Milwaukee students tend to agree with the idea of the “Freshman 15.”  Allison Peret, a UWM sophomore, stated, “No, I don’t believe it’s a myth because it happened to me.”  However, Allison lived in the dorms last year, which may possibly contribute to weight gain.  Katie Pett of UW-Stevens Point agrees that dorm living can cause weight gain, saying, “I think that sometimes college life is so boring that the only thing to do is eat.  Drinking comes into [the picture] too. Plus, it’s an ‘all you can eat’ cafeteria.”

Don’t feel like gaining weight this year?  Then obviously stay active, eat a healthy diet, get a restful amount of sleep and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.  Beer, especially, is loaded with carbohydrates.  And if you paid attention in Biology, you know that carbs are broken down as sugar and stored as fat.  At the risk of sounding like a mother, it is beneficial to drink more water and juice instead of soda and alcohol.

For more health tips visit the Journal of American College Health at http://www.acha.org/index.cfm, or a related article on CNN.com at http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/diet.fitness/9908/19/freshman.fifteen/
Last Updated ( Monday, 11 September 2006 )
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