You’ve probably heard of the freshman 15, a term used to describe how first-year students gain 15 pounds during their first year at college. What’s worse, it used to be the freshman 10. But is this just a myth? Well, a lot of research has gone into this area. Though the average weight gain is, in fact, well below 15 pounds, freshmen do pile on the pounds. In this article, we ask why do freshmen gain weight?
What Do the Studies Say?
Researchers went to examine the real weight gain and found that two-thirds of students gained an average of 7.5 lbs. So, the weight gain is half of what the urban myth would suggest. Yet, it is still a source of concern for many. Rapid weight gain can lead to all sorts of health issues.
Why Do Freshmen Gain Weight?
Starting college brings a lot of changes, many of which make it more difficult to maintain weight levels. The following factors play a part:
- College Diner Food Instead of Homecooked Meals: Students tend to eat more frequently and enjoy more convenience foods than before. Because they eat out, they eat larger portions of often fatty foods.
- Less Exercise: Most freshmen exercise less during the first year at college. They are busy trying to find their feet at college, so spend less time keeping fit.
- Stress: Starting college can be stressful, as freshmen have to get a handle on an entirely new lifestyle and routine. This can lead to comfort eating.
We’ve answered the question why do freshmen gain weight. If you are aware of the potential pitfalls, you can steer clear of them and avoid piling on the pounds. Keep exercising too, as it helps the body and the mind.
At least the freshmen 15 is an exaggeration!