What happens in that first semester at college to cause the well know “Freshman 15” weight gain phenomenon?
The answer is found in the radical changes these young people are subjected to as they start their college life.
First Time Away From Home.
Without parental guidance, freshmen are confronted with the need to make their own decisions on a daily basis.
This new freedom comes with a variety of temptations. One of these is the choice of foods at meal time, snacks, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
Therefore, they inadvertently make food choices that result in weight gain. It may seem logical after the fact that a freshman would put on weight simply as the result of their new, freer lifestyle.
These young people are most likely unaware that they are going to gain weight. None of them, male of female, want to see themselves get fat.
Let’s look at some other changes suddenly imposed on college freshmen.
Reduced Physical Activity
The college experience does not have the required physical activity these young people had in high school. Physical education several times a week is no longer required.
However, many college campuses are very large so that the buildings where a student’s classes are held may require considerable walking between classes.
Cramming Late At Night
Another challenge is the increased workload required at the college level which causes many, if not most students to put in late hours studying.