Tap to Read ➤

Freshman 15 - Myth or Reality?

Kundan Pandey Jun 18, 2019
You are aware of the buzz that surrounds a certain 'Freshman 15', but you are not sure what exactly is it. Is it the name of a brand or is it a music band? Is it the name of a college course or is it a new hangout down the road? Read this post and find out for yourself.
Freshman 15 is a standard term used to denote the concept characterized by a weight gain of 15 pounds by first year college students. The term is very commonly used across US and parts of Canada as well. In countries like Australia or New Zealand, the term is 'fresher Five' or 'five kilograms'.

Myth or Reality

Is it true that college students gain nearly 15 pounds in the first year of their college? The fact is that they may or may not gain any weight during the first year. It is not a fixed or a must-occur phenomena.
However, studies conducted across colleges have stated that freshman 15 is a striking reality and is observed in a majority of students who study in the first year of college. More so in those cases, who stay in hostels and away from their parents.
Studies have also concluded that students tend to gain at least 3 to 10 pounds, if not 15, during their first year of studies. These freshman 15 statistics give us a lot to think about.
Obviously, the first thought that comes to mind is the reason behind the weight gain. Nutritionists and dietitians hint towards a few possible causes of gaining significant weight in a year. Let's briefly discuss them.


Minimum Physical Activity

Call it the stress of first year in the college or new surroundings and new people, students who are involved in minimum physical activities have been found to gain weight.
Their routine consists of rushing for lectures, completing assignments, and doing various projects, leaving aside little, or no time for exercises. Laziness and poor time management skills of students are also the causes of poor physical activity.

Being a Party Animal

Nothing excites a teenager more than complete freedom. College life offers numerous temptations to students. Things become quite different from school and every one is responsible for themselves.
This is where students find freedom and enjoy life to the fullest! There's nothing wrong in this, unless it becomes a habit. Unhealthy eating habits, drinking routine, regular and excessive alcohol consumption increases with every passing day in the college, making the student pile on their weight.

Fast Food

College cafeteria provides fast foods to students which is certainly unhealthy, if it is a part of their staple diet. Students must be familiarized with the demerits of fast food so that they can eat wisely.

Poor Sleep

College students tend to become nocturnal by nature and inadequate sleep affects their weight to a large extent. Late nights debar students from getting the adequate amount of sleep needed to stay healthy.


First year in a college is often stressful for some students and this affects their eating and sleeping habits, resulting in weight gain.
Students are generally worried regarding measures they should take to avoid freshman 15. But, they should understand that it is very simple to keep a check on their weight.
All they need to do is, follow a healthy lifestyle that includes proper eating habits, sleeping early and waking up early, making exercise a part of their daily routine, and making weight control a reality. Plenty of exercise is the most important solution for losing extra pounds.
Freshman 15 generally occurs to students whose lifestyle and way of living is very poor. Simple exercises and healthy eating habits can create a world of difference in their life.
It should be understood that nobody is denying the students their right to have fun, party, or enjoy. Once in a while, it is acceptable. But they must ensure that they don't play with their health in the name of enjoyment!