As the school year begins, many freshmen are settling into a new life in college as well as a new lifestyle. As a result, many in this class will face a tremendous weight gain known as the Freshmen 15.
According to the author of the book, “Avoid the Freshman Fifteen,” Diana Keuilian, constant stress, lack of exercise and poor sleeping habits contribute to weight gain in students. Keuilian is a recent college graduate and a nationally certified personal trainer.
“I believe (freshmen 15) affects a large majority of college students living on or off campus,” Keuilian said.
She also said that she believes that the cafeteria or dining halls are large contributors to weight gain for those that live on campus.
“I avoid the freshmen 15 by making smart choices at Davenport- looking for healthier alternatives and watching my diet,” said freshman art and business marketing major Kelly Strona.
Unfortunately, many students do not share in the same practices as Strona and they allow themselves to eat as much as they want.
In an article titled “College Weight Gain: Are you destined to gain the freshmen fifteen?,” Keuilian recognizes the reasons why students gain weight. She lists them as: an increase in calories due to social events that have food, overeating in buffet style dining halls, cheap fast food and snacking.
Second, decrease in activity, which happens as a result of students becoming busy with class schedules and homework rather than taking time to work out.
Finally, students who manage their food intake poorly and practice diets that require skipping meals such as breakfast, can actually lower their metabolism and gain weight.
However, according to Keuilian, preventative steps can be taken.
First, she advises students to set a goal. Second, practice nutritious eating by avoiding high calorie foods and opting for vegetables and fruit. Finally, joining an exercise program like intramural sports, physical education classes or aerobics classes on campus are helpful in keeping students active and exercising.
“Being on the cheer squad keeps me active,” said freshman communications major Tiffany Escobar.
“The biggest preventative measure is to be aware of it,” Keuilian said. “Have an eating and an exercise plan. The biggest reason it happens is because they don’t know and it just happens.”
With classes in full swing and the homework beginning to pile up, all students, not just freshmen, should become more aware of their bodies.
Stress along with other factors such as bad eating habits and lack of sleep are inevitable in college.
“It is an issue that is across the board for all college students,” Keuilian said.
?Marilee Lorusso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.