'Freshman 15' Weight Gain a Myth, Study Says

That dreaded 'Freshman 15' weight gain we've all heard so much about? Turns out, it might not even be real! A new study suggests that not only is there not a 'freshman 15' weight gain for most college freshman, but there's not even a 'college 15' weight gain for most students. 

Researchers from The Ohio State University found that the average first-year weight gain for freshman women was 2.4 pounds, while it was 3.4 pounds for men. The researchers studied more than 7,000 people nationwide and found that of all the freshman, only 10 percent packed on more than 15 pounds. One-fourth even reported losing weight their first year of college. The study is scheduled to appear in the December issue of the journal Social Science Quarterly. Jay Zagorsky, study co-author and research scientist at Ohio State University, said the study considered all different kinds of factors that could influence weight gain, such as living in a dorm, or going to school full-time vs. part-time. The researchers found that none of them made a difference. The only factor associated with significant weight gain was heavy drinking, which the researchers classified as six or more drinks on at least four days per month.

Bottom line? While the researchers found that students do tend to gain some weight during college, they say that has less to actually do with college and more to do with "becoming a young adult."  

 

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