Healthbeat 4: The “Freshman 15”

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The so-called “Freshman Fifteen” is not a complete myth. More than half of students will see their waistline expand during their first year of college, and you might be surprised to learn freshman year leaves men with more to lose.

While not every college freshman gains 15 pounds, researchers agree, there is some truth behind the so-called “Freshman Fifteen.”

In 2015, a review of studies found 60% of students will add an average of 7.5 pounds in their freshman year.

Now, a new study says men are packing on more pounds than women.

Researchers tracked the weight and diets of more than 300 college freshmen. On average, women gained four pound in their first year. Men gained twice as much, which is up an average of eight pounds.

While it is unclear why men gained more than women, the study, published in the journal, PLOS One, suggests students eat worse after starting college.

Swapping home-cooked meals with friend chicken, donuts and french fries takes a toll.

Students also may have easier access to alcohol. Wine, beer and liquor are full of calories and can lead to weight gain.

Researchers say students need to be mindful of their diet, in spite of the first-year stress.

Jennifer Lenzini

Jennifer Lenzini

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