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Senior 15 May Be More Accurate than Freshman 15

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/24/2010 9:34 AM   :  36 comments   :  13,726 Views

See More: news, trends, weight gain,
Any young person who's headed to college hears about the dreaded "Freshman 15"- those extra pounds many students gain when they get into a routine of high-calorie dorm food and less physical activity. Changes have been made in recent years to help students learn to make better food choices and get into a healthy routine so that they can avoid extra weight gain. New research shows the trend is actually moving toward the Senior 15, as more students gain weight as they progress through their academic career.

The study, conducted by Indiana University, surveyed undergraduate students about their exercise and resting habits. Freshman reported walking an average of 684 minutes per week, while seniors walked 436 minutes per week. "One reason was that as the students got older, they used buses to get from one side of the campus to another," according to one of the researchers. The study also found that freshman spent more time exercising and less time sitting. In addition, seniors were also an average of 18 pounds heavier than freshman.

One theory is that older students get more overwhelmed with their studies and more stress, which means less time for physical activity. Freshman who gain weight and don't get a handle on their eating and exercise habits could also continue to gain weight throughout their college years. That's just another reason to establish good habits from the very beginning.

What do you think? Did you (or someone you know) gain weight in college? Was it more significant as a freshman, or as an upperclassman?


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