Navigation Links
No Such Thing as the 'Freshman 15,' Study Finds

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Although many college students are wary of gaining the dreaded "freshman 15," most only put on between 2.5 to 3.5 pounds during their first year in college, a new study shows.

And, the researchers noted, this weight gain is typical for all young adults -- not just those in college.

"The 'freshman 15' is a media myth," study co-author Jay Zagorsky, a research scientist at Ohio State University's Center for Human Resource Research, said in a university news release. "Most students don't gain large amounts of weight. And it is not college that leads to weight gain -- it is becoming a young adult."

Nevertheless, widespread concern among students over weight gain could have serious consequences for college students, the study authors noted.

"Repeated use of the phrase 'the freshman 15,' even if it is being used just as a catchy, alliterative figure of speech, may contribute to the perception of being overweight, especially among young women," warned Zagorsky. "Weight gain should not be a primary concern for students going off to college."

In conducting the study, the researchers analyzed data from more than 7,000 students who were surveyed in 1997 when they were aged 13 to 17, and then interviewed each year after about their weight and college status.

The investigators found that women gained an average of 2.4 pounds during their freshman year, compared to 3.4 pounds among men. The researchers pointed out that no more than 10 percent of college freshmen gained 15 pounds or more, and about one in four reported actually losing weight.

The study also revealed that the only factor that made a significant difference in students' weight gain was heavy drinking. But even those students gained less than a pound more than their peers who didn't drink as much. The researchers pointed out that another suspected cause of weight gain -- living in dorms -- did not increase the amount of weight students gained their first year in college.

"There has been concern that access to all-you-can-eat cafeterias and abundant fast-food choices, with no parental oversight, may lead to weight gain, but that doesn't seem to hold true for most students," said Zagorsky.

Although most freshmen don't come close to gaining 15 pounds, by the time they are ready to graduate they could have put on almost that much weight. The study found the typical woman gains between seven and nine pounds, while men gain between 12 and 13 pounds over their college careers.

"Not only is there not a 'freshman 15,' there doesn't appear to be even a 'college 15' for most students," Zagorsky said.

Students who worked while they attended school gained an extra one-fifth of a pound for each month they worked, the study also showed. Although most students don't need to worry about significant weight gain during freshman year, the study found that after graduation the typical student gained another 1.5 pounds each year.

"Anyone who gains 1.5 pounds every year will become obese over time, no matter their initial weight," Zagorsky added. "Students should begin developing the habit of eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. Those habits will help them throughout their lives."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides health and safety tips for college students.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Ohio State University news release, Oct. 31, 2011

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. LearnSomething Brings Phil Keough On Board to Spearhead Retail Products and Services
2. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
3. Health Bites: 8 Things You Didnt Know About Your Teeth
4. Mountain Home 'Doing the Right Thing Really is the Best Business Approach'
5. Offers 10 Tips To Beat The Winter Blues: Things You Can Do Right Now to Have a Better Day
6. Happy People More Likely to Try Something New
7. Naptime Helps Babies Remember New Things
8. Organic Clothing can be as Crucial to Your Health as Organic Food or Yoga
9. High School Student's College Prerequisite: Save Five Thousand Lives in Africa. Teen Supports Nothing But Nets in Malaria Fight
10. Transition into adult health care is a rocky road for 20 somethings
11. "On Top Of Everything” Wins Silver at the 2010 Axiom Business Book Awards
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
No Such Thing as the 'Freshman 15,' Study Finds
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Patients at Serenity Point Recovery, a ... on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that they are most grateful for ... YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on index cards, describing the things ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... CognisantMD and Cambridge Memorial ... in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians can now order ... electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient entry or an ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... The Catalent Applied Drug ... need to integrate dose form selection in early phase drug development. The first ... supporting and bringing together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating their record books yet again with an ... breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment for the PRMA team, says Dr. ... an honor to have served all of these women.” , PRMA is one of ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes ... titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... PUNE, India , November 26, ... --> --> ... Research Report" and "Investigation Report on ... 2019 and 2021 forecasts data and ... library. . ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... European Cell Surface Marker Testing Market: ...  report to their offering.  --> ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Congress ... of Dimes cheered today,s signature into law of ... 2015 (S.799), which takes much-needed strides to ... drugs, such as opioids, and to improve their ... have worked together leading advocacy efforts for its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: