Weight Gain In College Just A Myth, Study Suggests
Fifteen-pound weight gain during a student's freshman year of college is just a myth, according to a new study.
The study found that most students don't gain "the freshmen 15" as commonly believed, Science Daily reports. Instead, the average student gains between about 2.5 and 3.5 pounds during the first year of college.
"The 'freshman 15' is a media myth," said Jay Zagorsky, co-author of the study and research scientist at Ohio State University's Center for Human Resource Research, as reported by Science Daily.
"Most students don't gain large amounts of weight. And it is not college that leads to weight gain -- it is becoming a young adult."
In fact, the average freshman only gains about a half-pound more than someone of the same age who didn't go to college, according to Science Daily.
The study used data from 7,418 young people from around the country who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, Science Daily reports. Participants' weight was recorded throughout each year of college.
The study found that women gained an average of 2.4 pounds during their freshman year, while men gained an average of 3.4 pounds, according to Science Daily. No more than 10 percent of college freshman gained 15 pounds or more -- and a quarter of freshman reported actually losing weight during their first year.