College students talk about the “Freshman 15.” That’s the typical number of credit hours a full-time student takes during a semester. Some also claim it’s the number of pounds students gain eating dorm food and studying all night.
New work from researchers at Washington University in St. Louis confirms that most students do, indeed, gain weight in college. Reporting in theJournal of American College Health, the research team found that about 70 percent of students gained a significant amount of weight between the start of college and the end of sophomore year.
“It wasn’t surprising,” says principal investigator Susan S. Deusinger, Ph.D., professor and director of the Program in Physical Therapy at the School of Medicine. “Normally, eating habits in this group are not great. Most don’t eat five fruits and vegetables per day, and many don’t get enough exercise.”
In exchange for measuring their height and weight and asking them to fill out questio…