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No Such Thing as the 'Freshman 15,' Study Finds
Date:11/2/2011

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


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