Weight Gain Among Men and Women College Students

While the press has repeatedly referred to the “Freshman 15,” a phenomenon where new college students frequently put on pounds during their first year away from home, a new study conducted at Auburn University examined weight gain and body mass index over the course of a four-year college career.

The study found that the Freshman 15 may be a myth. Their data showed that over the course of a four-year college career, men gained an average of 15 pounds and women gained an average of 9.3 pounds. Overall, 70 percent of the college students put on some weight during their four years on campus.

The results showed that much of the weight gain was added body fat. The percentage of college students who were classified as overweight or obese increased from 18 percent to 31 percent after four years of college.

Karla P. Simmons, an assistant professor of consumer and design sciences at Auburn and one of four co-authors of the study, stated, “Many students are active in high school with sports, but they stop, or are less active, when they get to college. That is one change that can lead to weight gain.”

The study, published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, can be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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