Is the “Freshman 15” a real epidemic? When people think of freshman 15, they instantly assume that once students gone to college their first year, they will gain 15 or more pounds. It is a common belief that students entering college have gained weight because of heavy snacking, increased stress, and lack of physical activity. Homesickness can contribute to overeating. Students in dormitories are more susceptible in this phenomena than students who stay at their homes at monitored environments. Snacking and studying can contribute to unused energy, leading to increased fat and weight. In reality, students gain at most three to six pounds during their first year according to studies *(check facts). However, according to health specialist and educators, freshman 15 is a myth, and weight gaining occurs throughout their college career. Freshman 15 is preventable by managing time and balancing activities.
To avoid drastic weight gain, students can maintain a schedule and need to have a balanced diet with some form of stress relief and exercise. For example in one day, students go to classes, study, take yoga, eat a balanced meal (with meat, vegetables, grain, and fruits), and have a 7- 8 hour sleep or any variation. If students continue to include balanced meals, stress relievers, and exercise, those habits will carry on to life after college and will have a healthy lifestyle. If students need assistance or counseling in having trouble with stress and weight gain, they can speak with health specialists, nutritionists, and counselors. Self management is the crucial part of controlling and balancing a healthy lifestyle.