A study in to the truth of the \”Freshman 15\” belief that says freshmen put on 15 pounds at school, conducted by researchers from Ohio State University and the University of Michigan at Dearborn, has debunked it, saying the number is nearer to just three pounds, writes Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post.
The \”Freshman 15\” turns out to be a media myth, the research concludes, one that is?powerful enough to be cited commonly as truth.
The study says, women gain an average of 2.4 pounds during their freshman year and men 3.4 pounds.
The study was co-authored by Jay Zagorsky, research scientist at Pitt University\’s?Center for Hr Research, and Patricia Smith, a professor in the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
\”The summer after my senior year of high school, I was terrified. Not of staying away, or of living on my own, or perhaps of trying to create friends in?college. I was petrified that I was going to get fat,\” writes Hanna Brooks Olsen at Bliss Tree.
\”Looking back, it\’s truly amazing how afraid I was by the persistent rumors of the dreaded \”freshman 15.\”
The researchers looked at weight data from 7,418 young adults over a period of years, using information from the longitudinal survey of youth commissioned through the Labor Department and conducted through the center.
Dispelling myths like these are invaluable for many students worried about their weight. College can be?a breeding ground?for eating disorders which scares a lot of women (and men) into being hyper-vigilant,?to begin obsession, about what they eat, writes Olsen.
The researchers learned that throughout a college career, female students gain typically seven to nine pounds and male students 12 to 13 pounds. No more than 10 percent of school freshman gained 15 pounds or more, the study said.
The researchers looked at various factors that may be connected with putting on weight, including whether students populated or off campus, attended class full-or part-time, and enrolled in public or private colleges, according to an Ohio State release about the study, writes Strauss.
The most critical thing that seemed to affect weight was the heavy consuming of alcohol. They defined \”heavy consuming\” as consuming six or even more drinks on four or five days per month.
\”Dispelling the \”freshman 15 myth is a good first step in curbing disordered eating behaviors before they start, by removing the fear of weight gain that seems, to many (myself included), to become an absolute certainty,\” writes Olsen.