The dreaded freshman 15

By Elizabeth Brachelli
August 31, 2006

Entering the cafeteria and smelling the pizza while seeing the sweets piled high is tempting and convenient. The food is ready to go and it’s tasty. Yet, setting down the slice of pizza and throwing out the cookie lying next to is difficult for many freshmen leaving the majority of the first year college students to gain the infamous freshman 15.

Although the myth told is fifteen pounds that are gained among the average college students, it has been discovered that students gain an average of four pounds during the first 12 weeks of their freshman year. After eating the extra slices of pizza and the cookies, the weight gain is 11 times higher than the typical weight gain for 17- and 18-year-olds according to Researchers at Cornell University. Also, since students don’t have their parents around to be sure they’re getting three balanced meals, almost 70 percent of students get fewer than the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables each day according to Tufts University researchers.

Lauren Naile, a freshman, whose major is undecided, discussed the effects of the freshman 15 on her friends. Naile noticed the weight gain on her friends immediately when they came home.

Naile said, “It hit my friends hard.”

Also, it has been found through a multi-year study by researchers at Tufts University, that on average, men gain six pounds and women gain four and a half during their first year of college.

Zach Berman, a sophomore, biotechnology major, discussed why the pounds add on so quickly. Berman said that inactivity and ordering out are causes for the weight gain and it was something he noticed among his friends.

Berman had few tips to avoid the pounds but he said, “Don’t order out every night.”

As the smell of pizza still lingers along with the sweet taste of cookies, there are still options that remain available to battling the weight gain. Avoiding the freshman fifteen can be done in several ways. A recommended tip by to avoiding the weight gain is staying active. If looking for activity, the Dixon Center is available to students for working out as well as physical fitness classes that can be taken as course credits. Also, another tip provided by was eating slowly while eating at regular times to keep the weight off as well keeping track of portion control.

Other tips to keeping off the extra pounds are choosing a mix of nutritious food and not starving oneself. Starving oneself leads to hunger that leaves students to eventually overeat as they try to compensate for the food missed. In addition, avoiding vending machines, fast-food and keg parties could cut down on the calories.

Erin McCole, a sophomore, chemistry major, said, “I think they try to make things available for students to be healthier.”

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Elizabeth Brachelli

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