Freshman Fifteen

Posted: October 17th, 2013

Historical Interview Research Paper


Freshman Fifteen

Freshman 15 is common about college. In this myth it is understood that students gain nearly fifteen pounds during the freshman time.  In many case this myth has often been proven to be true with several factors and many of the other factors being the corner stone of this myth. Since it is considered a practice, it is necessary to understand the important factors which might lead to the quick increase in weight when one joins college. This is really dangers myth for the freshman once they start their college life far away from family. According to College Parents of America that college meal plans are designed in an “all-you-can-eat” system. This allows the students to swipe their ID cards or sign in for a meal to eat as much as they want during the meal time. Also, choices sometime are awesome and appetizing, so that may lead the students in the absolutely new setting to eat as much as they can accumulate more calories in the long run. Similarly, the students have behaviour of going out on social meals. Even though this is the basis for effective socialization and friend making at the college, a few long meals with the “all-you-can-eat” system increases the number of visits to the counter for more and more food. This may happen for a period of time before the students themselves can recognize that they are spending more time in the dining hall and eating a lot (College Parents of America).

I have done an interview about students at Grand Valley State University, asking them about freshman 15 myth. However, most of my interviewers were females; also they were more experienced about freshman 15 more than the males. More than 75% of the females at GVSU gained weight in their freshman year, but on the other hand only 25% of the males at GVSU gained the freshman 15. A student at GVSU her name is Sarah. She started her college life when she was 19 years old, and she was thin tall girl of about 5’7″ and her weight  at 109 lbs .she said that everything were good until her family and her old friends started to tell her that she have a small belly, all that happen because of  the late-night studying and fast food.  Also, she used to eat Pizza for breakfast. She liked the idea of sharing her story about freshman 15. Because, she wants to encourage other young females to be more careful and not to ignore their weights otherwise their weight will be out of control as she used to be before (Sarah).

Moreover, College Parents of America say that the experience in freshman year is engaging and very adventurous. Many students’ schedules are busy and most of the students end up skipping and missing meals. In this context they are often compel to take other types of food, especially the fast foods at a later time.  The snacks and fast foods taken during the later times often contain a high amount of calories. This may in turn lead to addition of weight by the students. The food choices in the college dining hall also play an important role in the increase in weight of many students in freshman years. The huge group of options available for students to choose from usually presents difficulty in right eating habits.  In this case students tend to prefer burgers and French fires to salad bar, fruits and broiled chicken. This leads to increase in the calorie intake during the meals thus increase in the weight of the students (College Parents of America). With all wrong choices of food type that freshman is eating them all the time. It might be able to lead them not only to gain weight but also to have several diseases.

There are many things can attract the students desires to eat more and more. The biggest one is the vending machines. Many universities have a lot of vending machines everywhere, between their halls next to the classes, so they can help the students to eat a lot and when they eat a lot their weights will be increasing a lot. College Parents of America included that snacking is also another factor in the increase in weight among the students in their freshman year.  Most of the freshman year students snack all day long.  Eating snakes through late night study sessions or between the classes and residence hall meetings is very common for the students. In this case students generally eat more while at the freshman year than previously when they are at school. The frequency of social gatherings in college may also contribute towards weight gain.  These require the informal gatherings students organize with their friends at college. Most of the gatherings do not end without food, drinks or some snacks. However, having dinner in town, pizza ordering late at night and some take out food, all add up to increase in the calorie and food in take. This coupled with the fact that some of the foods taken are not recommended by nutritionists thus leading to increase in weight (College Parents of America).

College Parents of America also talked about the college functions. College functions give the student many chances to eat more than necessary. Performances, lectures, clubs, panel discussions, seminars, and meeting with faculty members are some of the college gathering in which students may get the chance to eat.  In some colleges where the students have been found to participate in more indoor activities, the administration have often organized outdoor activities such as sports and games coupled with snacks to attract the students into outdoor activities.  It is also important to note that the rate of appearing in sports and games by the students greatly decreases when they join colleges. Many students who used to play a lot pick not to play while others pursue games that are more relaxing rather than the strenuous ones they engaged in while at school.  Similarly, many students often walked to school daily while at high school. However, this changes since when they join college they tend to stay within the confines of the schools. This reduces the amount of calories burnt while at high school. In the end they student tend to store more calories in freshman year as compared to high school years thus they are likely to gain more weight (College Parents of America). Without any kind of exercise, not all that amount of calories will burn. In addition, if the students tend to ignore that it will increase their weights festally.

Emotional factors too may play a role in weight gain at freshman year. As what College Parents of America says that students who may be homesick or stressed up could eat a lot for comfort. In this process, they increase the levels of calorie intake. Similar the increased intake of energy drinks may contribute to the increase in the weight of students at freshman year (College Parents of America). Some freshmen may eat and drink a lot to forget, and with all that food and drink, their body weight will be increasing. Many students think that energy drinks are good for them but what College Parents of America says that energy drinks especially those with caffeine are common among the students during the class hours, sports sessions and relaxations places.  These drinks are often full with sugar and high calories. Similarly, alcohol intake may increase weight among the first year. Many college students drink with others, but some of them doing it excessively.  Alcohol contains some calorie contents. If they added the calories with the other collected, the weight of the students must increase (College Parents of America).

Hirsh says hat to avoid all there is need for one to get enough exercise while in first year. This would ensure that all the extra calories taken in foods and snacks are burnt. Most researchers have recommended that the student should exercise at least three days a week to ensure they do not contain excess calories. If this is done, research has shown that the students in question tend to enjoy a high degree of comfort than those with excess weight.  Students involved in exercise activities were also likely to be more effective in their time management. There is a proverb says that the good mind is in the good body.

Drug abuse and alcohol should be avoided. According to Hirsh, alcohol and other drugs such as cigarettes are considered to destroy the appetite. Smoking and drinking can make exercise and other normal physical activities difficult. Apart from the difficulty in climbing the stairs and walking to classrooms being made difficult, alcohol and drug abuse also exposes the abusers to have health problems of the heart, lungs and kidney (Hirsh).

A lot of people said that if you smoke the weight will decreases, which is totally wrong.  Smoking and drinking a lot of alcohol can cause many diseases beside the weight. Hirsh says that many smokers who have quit have often found more energy for them to engage in calorie burning activities such as strenuous exercises.  This implies that when one quits smoking and engage in drug abuse, there are high chances that there will be increased engagement in physical activities thus burning the extra calories that might be available for the body. Getting enough sleep is also necessary for ensuring that the body relaxes. Enough sleep helps the body maintains its healthy weight. Sleeping also offers an opportunity for one to manage stress and avoid excessive eating.  Ensuring enough sleep can be achieved by developing and following to a regular sleeping schedule. Similarly, exercising, watching TV and listening to loud music should be avoided before going to bed. If all these are done and nutritionist’s recommended eating habits followed to, there will be reduced cases of increase in weight at freshman year (Hirsh).

Works Cited

“The Freshman 15: Will Your College Student Gain More From College Than You Expected?” College Parents of America.College Parents of America, n.d. Web. 18. Oct. 2012.

Hirsh, Larissa. “TeensHealth.” Beating the Freshman 15. The Nemours Foundation, n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2012.

Sarah. Personal interview. 15 Oct. 2012.


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