Freshmen Fifteen

By Brian Coary
October 28, 2005

Months after we moved-in and weeks after waving good-bye to our parents, the taste freedom of independence has morphed into the taste of fast-food. We have grown tired of the cafeteria meals and long for the comfort of home-cooked meals. Yet, for many this desire will have to be off until Thanksgiving. So, in search of that comfort and great taste, we turn to something just as familiar, fast-foods.

As college students, we are always on the move. Between our class schedules, jobs, extra-curricular activities and social lives it is difficult to fit in the time for nutritional meals. Instead, we eat what people on the run normally eat: unhealthy foods.

Included in the weekly routines of many Cabrini students, including my own, is at least a once a week mid-night run to the local WaWa for a hoagie, a slushy or a quart of iced-tea. We know that those items are not exactly the healthiest things to eat, but most of us have no other choice.

So, whether it may be a Pop-Tart, a bag of chips, a cup-of-noodles or simply delivered fast-foods, the point is they are delicious, time-saving and convenient. All in all, the truth is, these snacks always appear to be more appealing than the healthier cafeteria food. Though the cafeteria may provide us with a healthier food-choice, it surely does not give us a tastier one.

Therefore, as students, most of us fail to favor healthy foods. Instead, we prefer to pick our foods based essentially on taste-value. As a result, we often end-up settling for the fatty and greasy meals, rather than the more nutritionally balanced foods.

With regards to the lack in good healthy meals, it is no wonder why so many individuals put on weight during their college years. Before I entered college, I always considered the “Freshmen 15” to be a complete myth. But, after two years of the college experience I fully understand why this phrase was created.

It is not accurate by any means. All freshmen do not gain 15 pounds, but for the most part most college students gain some amount of weight during their first year. It is a direct result of our eating habits. I mean, we can not continue to snack constantly, eat take-out almost every single night and exercise very minimally without expecting some sort of weight-gain. In all honesty we lead unhealthy lives due to our poor eating habits.

Personally, I put on five pounds during my first year of college. Though in the eyes of many I was lucky because I only gained five pounds, the truth of the matter is those five pounds, as small of an amount as it may seem, were still unhealthy. The weight gained was all fat; if I had gained several pounds do to muscle growth than that would have been healthy.

At that point, I decided to do what most self-conscious females do when the scale reads a number that they have declared unfavorable. I went straight to the gym. For approximately one month, I adhered to a healthy routine. I cut-down my intake of unhealthy foods and I worked-out at the gym once a day for an hour.

This only lasted me a month, before I succumbed to temptations of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, WaWa and so forth. However, the time I spent going to the gym daily was enough to show me that weight issues run rampant through-out this college, as I am sure they do throughout the nation.

I believe, that weight and nutritional issues will always exist on college campuses. It is a result of the hectic life-style that many of us lead as students. I also believe that we, as students, should start taking better care of ourselves. Too often, we reach for what is easy, convenient and tasty, we need to cater to our health rather than our taste-buds.

Posted to the web by Brian Coary

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