Today: Apr 14, 2024

Freshman 15 myth proves true

Katelyn Peterson, Staff Writer-

There is a legend among college campuses called the “freshman 15.” The saying is used to describe the weight that freshmen put on in their first year or semester of college.

Doris Marino, who teaches school health at Southern, said she believes this theory is based on reality. Marino said she thinks different types of food like fries, hamburgers and pizza contribute to the freshman 15.

“So much is centered around food,” Marino said.
According to an article from, studies have been performed at different colleges to test the accuracy of the freshman 15 theory.
One study, consisting of 600 students, was performed at Dartmouth College and the results showed on average that the weight gain for men was 3.5 pounds, and for women, 4 pounds.
There were studies, however, whose results proved that the freshman 15 is in fact applicable to some freshman students. For example, a study performed at an unidentified public university in the Midwest involving 907 students, found that although the average weight gain was 7.8 pounds, 30 percent of the students did gain 10 pounds or more, and another 20 percent gained the freshman 15 or more.
According to, some of the reasons that freshmen gain this kind of weight include a lack of exercise, eating late at night, keeping unhealthy snacks on hand and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
This website also said that it is more common for women to experience weight gain than it is for men. According to the site, college women tend to consume more junk food than college men.
Doreen Kordorsky, Southern’s registered dietitian, said that although there is “no ‘one size fits all’ diet,” students can use the food pyramid “as a basis for eating healthy.” Kordorsky gave one example of a healthy, balanced meal, which consisted of lean red meat, whole wheat pasta, carrots and an item selected from the dairy group such as yogurt or milk.
In addition to being the school’s dietitian, Kordorsky said she is also part of a committee that has been wanting Conn Hall to start providing a “spoodle,” which functions as both a spoon and a ladle. When used properly, the spoodle will measure portions out to be exactly half a cup, which Kordorsky said is the serving size that is used a lot of the time.
Melissa Richard, a junior, said she decided to make an appointment with Kordorsky because she wanted to feel better about herself and was interested in making healthier food choices.

Richard said that she has become more conscious of what she eats since she met with Kordorsky, and still applies what she learned to her daily eating habits. One of the things she said Kordorsky helped her to realize was that it’s a lot better to eat natural food than it is to eat artificial food that’s labeled as “lite.”

Richard also said she thinks the freshman 15 is a reality for a lot of students, and that by going to a dietitian early on in the semester, they can learn how to avoid gaining so much extra weight.
“Taking more initiative and learning about healthy eating and the consequences of unhealthy eating,” said Richard, “would probably help lower the chances of the freshman 15.”

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