Two recent studies have revealed that college students put on several pounds in their freshman year. Freshman 15 is a term that tells that college students gain an average of 15 pounds in their freshman year. Though this may be an exaggerated statement, they do tend to put on weight.
The first study was conducted on 907 students at a huge public university in the Midwest. According to the study results, both girls and guys gained an average of 7.8 pounds in their freshman year and most of it in the first semester. A gain of 10 pounds was observed in over 33% of the students and 15 pounds in 20% of them.
The annual meeting of The Obesity Society in Boston saw the release of the study on Sunday, according to which, students tend to continue to gain weight.
The study revealed that men gained an average of 9.5 pounds and women an average of 9.2 pounds by the end of the sophomore year. The percentage of overweight or obese increased from 20% at the beginning of the college to 35% at the end of the sophomore year.
According to the researchers, educational stress, lack of family support, alcohol and fatty food accessibility are the major factors responsible for weight gain.
Another study was conducted on 383 students at a private university in the Northeast. The results showed that guys gained an average of 5.6 pounds while the girls an average of 3.6 pounds during their freshman year.
The National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the studies.