Facts behind the first year weight gain


Many first year college students expect to gain weight, but instead the “freshman 15” most gain 2.5 to 6 pounds, and experts say there are ways to keep from putting on pounds.

Some weight gain is normal because students’ bodies are often still maturing, said  Beth Winthrop, national wellness director for Sodexo Campus Services, which handles food services for TCU.

“The freshman 15” is more like the freshman five and it’ll most likely stick with you because it’s natural,” said Winthrop. “I think the main cause of weight gain among students is because of a decrease in physical activities and students might’ve been more active in high school sports.”

An Ohio State University study found the average student gains around 3 pounds during the first year of college.

Meanwhile, University of Michigan study found that the typical first year weight gain is 2.5-to-6 pounds.

Not getting a enough rest and exercise and not eating properly can also add pounds to a first year waistline.

admin-ajax (1)
File photo courtesy of TCU 360

“Students complain about the variety of food provided at the Market Square. We have a great salad bar, but we also have great desserts too,” said TCU Nutritional Science Professor Dr. Anne VanBeber. “Some students might be used to home cooked meals and others eat out. Stress and drinking could also be a cause of weight gain among students.”

A spokesperson for the TCU recreation center Abby Ferguson said the facility offers lots of exercise option. “Students usually gain weight by losing track of staying fit.”

She said students can go on adventure trips, take classes and clinics, join sport clubs, and participate in aquatics.

Winthrop said there are subtle changes that can lead to weight gain.

“Students might’ve used to get water whenever going to restaurants because it was free, but now they choose to drink juice and sodas because of the availability,” she said. “In college, it’s very common to get limited sleep which leads to missing breakfast and making poor food choices.”