Study: There is no "Freshman 15"

COLUMBUS, Ohio - November 2, 2011

Researchers at Ohio State University published a report which states that, on average, students gain between 2.5 and 3.5 pounds during their freshman year in college... and that's more because of biological changes associated with becoming an adult than with the food they eat as part of college life.

POLL: Do you think the "Freshman 15" weight gain is a myth?

The typical freshman only gains about a half-pound more than a same-age person who didn't go to college, according to Jay Zagorsky, who co-authored the study.

Full details of the study, conducted in conjunction with researchers at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, will be published in December in the journal Social Science Quarterly.

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. 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.

For the longer term, the study did show that college students do gain weight steadily over their college years. The typical woman gains between seven and nine pounds, while men gain between 12 and 13 pounds.

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