College is full of many things. Excitement. Opportunities. Experiences. You know, all of the good stuff! However, college is also filled with even “more important” things… food and beer! What college student does not love to grab a quick burger or fattening milkshake before heading to class or to their dorms? C’mon, let’s get real, we have all been guilty of it. With the amount of unlimited food and the amount of parties at college, students begin to stop losing track of their eating habits. With that being said, students eventually begin to gain mass amounts of weight during their first year at college, which is known as the Freshman 15.
According to Walden Behavioral Care, “The freshman fifteen can be attributed to stress, lack of sleep, late nights, frequent snacking, lack of exercise and alcohol intake.” I have known way too many people who have fallen into this trap and it could lead to even more serious issues other than obesity. Some people get so concerned with the Freshman 15 or are so upset about gaining the Freshman 15 that they begin serious eating disorders.
Some people are so worried about their figure and body image that they completely stop eating (anorexia) or throw up their food (bulimia) to avoid gaining weight or to lose the weight that they gained from the Freshman 15. As you can see, this has become a major problem that has been arising in colleges across the globe.
Let’s take a look at this chart. According to this study, 33% of freshman at this university said that they have gained weight during their freshman year. So, more than 1 out of every 4 people at that university has gained weight. The Freshman 15 is real and is way too common. Since the percentage is decently high, it is easier to see why so many teenagers fear and/or gain the Freshman 15. It is charts like these which could lead an innocent 18 year old male or female to stop eating.
From personal experience, I have already seen signs of my own friends here at Penn State who could be in danger of falling into either the Freshman 15 trap or the eating disorder trap. Some signs that I have seen is that some of my friends tell me how they have only eaten a piece of bread or a granola bar the whole entire day. I have also seen girls throwing up at parties and later on finding out that they have not eaten a single thing that entire day, which is a big reason why someone would throw up from drinking. It is scary.
To learn how to eat healthy and fight off the Freshman 15, please go to this link to help yourself, a friend, an acquaintance, a classmate, or anyone out. We need to stop this horrible trend in college.
So… What do you think should be done to eliminate the Freshman 15 and the eating disorders that can be created because of it?
“The Freshman 15.” Walden Behavioral Care The Freshman 15 Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2014.
“No “Freshman 15″” Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2014.