Weekly Wellness: The "Freshman Fifteen"
COLUMBIA - It’s a familiar refrain every year around this time: “back to school!” For college students (especially new students) it can mean being in a completely new environment with new stresses and new experiences, which can ultimately lead to weight gain.
Here are some facts about college freshman weight gain
- Not all college students gain weight during their first year of school. The Journal of American College of Health reported that only half of college students gain weight during the school year
- “15 pounds” is actually a made up number that stuck. The phrase is commonly used throughout America
- The average amount that college freshman actually only puts on is between 2.5 and 3.5 lbs.
- About 15 percent of college students actually lose weight while in college, opposed to gaining it
- The most drastic weight changes occur during the first semester of college due to the drastic change of environment and routine
- Students often exercise less upon entering college, which in return causes weight gain. Students are able to choose their daily schedules and going to the gym is usually put last
- Weight gain in college can be the beginning of continuous weight gain over the course of the student’s life
- Weight gain can happen at any age during college. Freshman year is known to be common because of the new routine and environment
- Stress is a huge factor when it comes to weight gain. USA Today reported that 76% of female students and 33% of males say they eat when under stress
- Women’s metabolism change between ages 17 to 19 years-old, making it easier for women to put on a few extra pounds without really noticing
- Beer has an average of 148 calories, red wine has an average of 80, and a martini has an average of 140. Think about it. All of those calories can add up if you're not careful