College Transition Initiative

Welcome to the blog of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding’s (CPYU) College Transition Initiative (CTI). This site contains commentary on transitional issues, exploring research, trends and college student culture. For more information visit:

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Location: Elizabethtown, PA, United States

The transition from high school to college is a difficult one, and yet, it is a transition that is often overlooked. This site is to help college bound students, parents, and youth workers stay up to date on the latest research and trends in regards to college transition. Your comments are greatly appreciated. Join the conversation!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Freshman 15 Loses Some Weight

It looks like the “freshman 15,” the infamous fifteen extra pounds that college freshman supposedly put on during their first year of college, is actually more like 8 pounds. See, this is why you shouldn’t do research. “Freshman 15” kind of roles off the tongue: both words are two syllables and begin with the letter f. “Freshman 8” is awkward. And, it’s more like 7.9. Hey kids, watch for the freshman 7.9 this year. That’s just confusing.

Anyway, the new data that keeps us from having fun was reported by USA Today on Monday. The article explains a recent study conducted by the Obesity Society. From the article entitled Freshman 15 drops some pounds:

“Although the freshman-year weight gain is less than thought, nutritionists are not applauding. They still fear these young adults are laying the groundwork for heavy adulthood by succumbing to the temptation of unlimited and unsupervised food choices.

‘The first year of college is a vulnerable time for students,’ says lead researcher Elizabeth Lloyd-Richardson, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University Medical School in Providence. ‘While most are not gaining the Freshman 15, many are gaining weight and aren't taking it off.’”

The article mentions the abuse of freedom, the ability for students to eat whatever they want, whenever they want (which is such a weird thing, the more I think about it), and it discusses how students fail to exercise. Now that I think of it, it’s kind of surprising to me that you don’t hear of lawsuits against college cafeterias. Think about it: there’s gotta be someone to blame here.

And, as my good friend and co-worker Chris Wagner pointed out in an email: “I think perhaps they've overlooked the possibility that eating disorders/body image issues could be a cause for the average decrease in weight gain.” I agree.

You can read the entire article here.


Blogger Qere Ketiv said...

"the temptation of unlimited and unsupervised food choices"...

In my own little world here in W.PA, I'm struggling with students over similar issues. The main question that has been pressed again and again on me (as a teacher of mostly Freshpersons) is: what level of maturity do we expect from those coming into college? Do we expect them to be able to listen respectfully (if not attentively) for an hour in a lecture-format? Or do we provide them "breathing-room" because they are "so young"?

I am all for freedom in the academy. Having food choices is a wonderful privelige for college age students, but are they ready for it?

1:25 PM  

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