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The Freshman 15 Essay

1411 words - 6 pages

When I arrived here at college I was extremely disappointed with the selection of food here in the cafeteria. I frequently found myself eating only hamburgers and pizza over and over again, simply because I did not like the other choices. About four months into the school year I had do go to the doctor for a virus and when the nurse weighed me I was a little surprised by what I saw. I had gained a little over ten pounds, close enough to what some refer to as the “Freshman 15.” It is a common fear among college students that they are going to gain fifteen pounds during the course of adjusting to college life. However experts have stated that the idea of the so called “Freshman 15,” is not that accurate. Every college student is obviously not going to gain fifteen pounds. However I believe that it is possible and it is a problem for many college students. College life completely changes eating habits among college students. Most students do not make the right choices about eating and exercising. College students across the country are severely unhealthy in their behaviors, and for some students the “Freshman 15” may be a reality.
     Experts who study the concept of the “Freshman 15” are deeply divided in their findings. Some downplay the significance of the problem of freshman weight gain, basing their findings only on the average weight gain among college students. In a study done by the Journal of American College Health, found that of the 59 percent of students who gained weight the average increase was only 4.6 pounds. They concluded their study by stating that they believed the Freshman 15 is a myth, based upon that premise (Graham, and Jones). The truth is that fifty-nine percent of the students studied did gain weight, and not all students are going to gain exactly fifteen pounds. Other experts do however believe that weight gain among college freshman is a very serious problem. Registered dietitian Ann Selkowitz Litt recently authored, “The College Students Guide to Eating Well on Campus,” which is designed to help college students make the right eating choices. On an online chat with several college students on USA Today’s website she stated that “College students now are gaining the "freshman 20" or "freshman 25.” She blames the growing problem on erratic eating habits, the drinking large quantities of alcohol, and the fact that students are not as physically active as they were in high school (Litt). Regardless of which experts are correct, college students are gaining weight.
Perhaps the biggest factor that causes students to gain weight is the adjustment from eating at home to eating at college. A student from Chicago State University wrote in the school paper that, “Students in their first year away from home are sometimes not experienced in choosing foods or balanced meals” (French). The free-for-all campus style eating allows for unlimited choices of food and no parents to tell students...

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