Going off to college comes with many new stresses and pressure for the incoming students, one of them being the notorious freshman 15, which is where college freshman are likely to gain 15 pounds during their first year.
The freshman 15 today is more like the freshman five as fewer students are experiencing a large amount of weight gain within the first years at college, according to a study done by Ohio State University.
“The ideas of affordability and convenience can influence a lot of students to make questionable food choices, which can lead to some weight gain,” said Cosumnes River College campus nurse Michelle Barkley.
The study shows true as most of the students interviewed said they haven’t experienced any gain in weight since coming to college.
“I haven’t experienced any gain in weight,” said 25-year-old biology major, Jessica Potch.
This tended to be the same response of many of the students on campus.
“I try to keep the same habits that I had in high school,” said Linsey Raney, 19, a computer
science major. “I get out of the house often, don’t eat a crazy amount of food and usually snack on fruits or granola.”
Raney also said that she lives with her parents, which is an advantage for some community college students who still have help to guide them with their eating habits and food choices.
“There are freshman all over, some going to a four-year university and some attending community college, so it depends on the level of independence and knowledge,” Barkley said.
Barkley said that a lot of it comes down to “human development” and that the age of 18, the age of most college freshman, is a very crucial time for most people.They are becoming their own person.
“Independence comes with many lifestyle changes,” Barkley said. “You are creating your own
choices, some are eating habits, staying up later, and hanging out with different friends.”
There is also no one to really help guide many of the outgoing freshman along, like their parents, Barkley said. She said that community college students might have an edge if they are still living at home.
Still college weight gain is out there and there are several ways to put a stop to it.
Barkley said the first and probably most well known way to combat weight gain would be a good diet.
“I always suggest eating clean, such as eating more fruits and vegetables and limiting the amount of junk food you eat,” Barkley said.
She said she also recommends taking at least one semester of a nutrition course in college.
“We have excellent nutrition professors on campus,” Barkley said. “I think a nutrition course should be a required class.”
Potch said she took a nutrition course with Professor Timaree Hagenburger early on at CRC and said that it helped her quite a bit.
“Being aware of the nutrition content of foods you eat can help lead to weight loss,” Barkley said. “The food options on campus play a big role.”
Several of the students on campus agreed that there should be more of a variety when it comes to the food on campus.
“Overall I think they have a limited amount of food,” said Taba Best-Wilson, 20, undeclared. “It’s less than I would like to see.”
The cafeteria does have a salad bar but that is almost it when it comes to the healthy choices, and in the bookstore there is even less of an option.
“I feel like the school promotes sugary foods,” said 18-year-old art major, Julia Schteunin.
No matter the options, losing weight with a busy college schedule can be a challenge in itself.
“Don’t get discouraged,” Barkley said. “You have to talk to someone if you have questions, or need some support.”