Freshman 15 A Myth

RENO, NV - Talk to just about any UNR student about the “Freshman 15”, they know what it is, and how it happens.

“Freshman 15 is when you, as a freshman, gain 15 pounds your freshman year,” says Leah Mullen a UNR Sophomore.

“A lot of kids come here and their moms aren’t regulating the diet anymore. So they decide to go awry. They end up gaining 15 pounds over even more. I've seen it happen,” says Cynthia Uba, another Sophomore with UNR.

Of course there are some who don't believe freshmen automatically gain 15 pounds their first year of college.

Emily Chau, a freshman says, “I actually know friends who lost weight during their first year.”

But even with her limited amount of upper education, in this instance Emily would be right.

According to Ohio State University's Center for Human Resource Research, college freshman, if they gain, only gain between 2.5 and 3.5 pounds.

In fact, freshman only gain about half a pound more than the same aged person who does not go to college.

Ohio researchers say it’s all about becoming a young adult.

“In general females just gain weight easier than men. Hormones certainly being a part of it,” says Barb Scott, a nutritionist with the University of Nevada School of Medicine..

While average weight gain among college men and women during their freshman year was no more than four pounds--less than 10% of freshman gain 15 pounds or more.

The study also showed 25% of freshman actually lost weight.

Researchers say the “Freshman 15” may be unnecessarily putting pressure on students who should instead be worrying about reaching their academic goals.

Of more importance, dieticians say, is the study shows adults gaining weight over the course of their lives, and that's something they say, that does need to be addressed.


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