The Freshmen Eight: Weight Gain in First Years of College

Freshmen 8

Paper presented at the Obesity Society annual meeting, Oct. 31, 2006

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The "freshman 15" refers to the 15 pounds most college students gain during their first year in college. Brown University Medical School scientists found that college students are gaining less weight than they used to about 8 pounds. Most students gain nearly 7 pounds during the first semester and another 1.4 pounds during winter break.

By the end of the sophomore year most students have put on nearly 10 pounds. Unfortunately, most never lose the weight they gained early in college and establish bad habits that can lead to lifelong obesity problems. Few college students take physical education classes and many get used to the all you can eat mentality of college dorms.

One health expert dubbed these students "Generation XL." Bad habits persist into adulthood, which sets the stage for obesity, insulin resistance, chronic back pain, diabetes and heart disease.

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