23 Feb 2012

Fear Not Freshmen

Author: Meghan Coburn | Filed under: Localizing story, Spring 2012

By Meghan Coburn

One word that comes to mind when leaving to start college is freedom.  Buffalo wings, beer, chocolate and french fries all sound like great choices for a meal during any day of the week.

However, many people who leave to begin their first year at college wonder if they are going to gain the dreaded 15 pounds.  Fear not, freshmen.  Gaining the “freshman 15” is more of a myth than a reality.

This is an undated photo that was taken by Bowling Green State University.

 According to recent studies done on various college campuses, women gain, on average three pounds, and men gain three to four pounds during their first year away at school. Throughout an individual’s college career, men tend to gain more weight. Women gain approximately nine pounds, while men gain between 12 and 13 pounds.

 Nearly all of the weight gained in college comes from heavy drinking, excessive snacking and a late night call to dominions pizza.

 Jane Crandall, nutrition counselor BGSU agreed that snacking and drinking are main reasons.

“Most students get to college, feel independent and go out partying.  They drink as much as they can and when midnight rolls around they are starving,” said Crandall.  “Snacking is a big issue with college students and life in general.”

Freshman weight gain is a consequence of buffet-style dining halls and vending machines that are located off campus or in the school buildings.  Skipping meals due to busy schedules also play a role according to the 2009 issue of Health Journals.

“Everything you chose to eat is based on your own decision. I get thrilled to see students eating vegetables instead of pizza.  We have the ingredients and food to eat a healthy diet,” said Magdy Abouzeid, general manager of BGSU’s dining services  “I see students walk into eat and go directly to the pizza buffet with a plate of fries before thinking about fruits or vegetables.”

 A lack of physical exercise also enables weight gain to college students.  Some students believe the recreation center is simply too far from where they live and would rather not work out according to the 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan.

 Director of Dining Services, Mike Paulus said he agrees that several students give up on working out when they arrive at college.

“I hear students complaining that the gym is too far from where they live,” said Paulus. “To avoid the ‘freshman 15,’ some may accomplish this by eating smaller meals more frequently rather than three larger meals and exercising for at least 30 minutes per day.”

Kyle Davis a sophomore at BGSU said he agrees with Mr. Paulus.

“I am a hockey player at the university and I get my exercise through my practices.  Exercise is such an important tool and should be a part of your daily life,” said Davis.

Physical activity, healthier snacks and fewer sodas are encouraged for a well-balanced diet according to Fitness Magazine.

“I love my pizza, fries, pop and cookies. I make late night phone calls for food but I work it off,” said Davis. “Take this process in chunks. It is not easy for everyone.”

Comments are closed.