Health & Wellness Articles

Fend Off the ''Freshman 15''

Stay Healthy When You Start College


So, although it's safe to say that the dreaded "Freshman 15" myth has been put to rest, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be concerned with your weight when you go to college or move out on your own. Just make sure that you keep an eye on your habits and try to be proactive about your health. If you notice you're not getting the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, for example, you can focus on making better choices in that area. If you find that school or work is keeping you sedentary most of the day, focus on ways to increase your activity and make active dates with your friends or significant other, like going for walks or trying an intramural sport. Making healthy choices when you're starting out will lead to good habits that will help you maintain your weight throughout your life.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "Weight Gain at College,", accessed on July 19, 2013.

American College Health Association, "National College Health Assessment 2012,", accessed on July 19, 2013.

Laura Girz, Janet Polivy, Veronique Provencher, Maxine Gallander Wintre, Michael W. Pratt, S. Mark Pancer, Shelly Birnie-Lefcovitch, Gerald R. Adams. "The four undergraduate years. Changes in weight, eating attitudes, and depression." Appetite, Volume 69, 1 October 2013, Pages 145-150. 
Nicole L. Mihalopoulos, MD, MPH, Peggy Auinger, MS, and Jonathan D. Klein, MD, MPH. "The Freshman 15: Is It Real?" Journal of American College Health. 2008;(56)5:531-533.

Spaeth AM; Dinges DF; Goel N. "Effects of experimental sleep restriction on weight gain, caloric intake, and meal timing in healthy adults.SLEEP 2013;36(7):981-990.

Zagorsky, J. L. and Smith, P. K. (2011), "The Freshman 15: A Critical Time for Obesity Intervention or Media Myth?" Social Science Quarterly, 92: 1389–1407. 

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About The Author

Megan Patrick Megan Patrick
Megan Lane Patrick has been a professional writer and editor for the past 16 years, and was a chronic dieter for at least 30. A combination of weight-loss surgery, mindful eating and daily exercise finally allowed her to maintain a weight loss of more than 100 pounds. When she's not lifting weights at the gym, you can find her walking shelter dogs as a volunteer for the SPCA.

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