Freshman 15 a myth, study says
""There are lots of things to worry about in college, but if you're the average person, gaining weight is not one of them," says research scientist Jay Zagorsky, who co-authored the study, which will be published in the December issue of Social Science Quarterly.
The study found that the average male student gained 3.5 pounds freshman year and the average female student gained 3.1 pounds. Over the course of four years, male students gained an average of 13.4 pounds and the female students averaged an 8.9 pound weight gain.
Zagorsky says the weight gain has nothing to do with college - it has to do with becoming an adult, as the same weight gain was nearly the exact same for youth of the same age who didn't go to college. The study also found that 25% of freshmen lost weight.
The study recommends that colleges and the media stop using the phrase "freshman 15" because body image issues are already prevalent in youth and the continued use could lead to more eating disorders.
"College is a wonderful time to learn how to eat healthy on your own, without mom and dad looking over your shoulder. The idea is to try to set up healthy living habits early in life," says Zagorsky.