We’ve all heard of it and we all know it’s too specific to be true. It’s a tiresome cliche that rears it’s annoying head in the media year after year, particularly between high school graduation and freshman orientation. Maybe we should stop perpetuating this fear mongering myth? Everyone, including college kids, deserve better than that. Oh and alliteration is embarrassing. So, take that, you dumb threatening myth.
Here are 15 facts about the myth of the Freshman 15:
- The term Freshman 15 was coined by Seventeen Magazine in 1989.
- There’s even a wikipedia page for the made up phenomenon.
- College Freshman do tend to gain weight, but more likely it’s in the 2-5 lbs range.
- Researchers believe that the weight gained is due to growth and aging, many 17 and 18 year olds are not fully grown.
- Kids the same age who don’t go to college gain weight as well, just a half a pound less than their collegiate peers.
- Fewer than 10% of freshman gain 15 or more pounds.
- 25% of frosh actually lose weight.
- 15lbs on Earth would be 2.49 lbs on the Earth’s moon.
- One study found that over four years, college students do gain weight: women gain a median of In four years, women gained a median 6.5 lbs. and men put on 12.1 lbs,
- Students who are considered heavy drinkers end up a little less than one pound heavier than their more sober buds.
- There are better reasons to abstain from binge drinking than fear of weight gain.
- Making college women fear weight gain isn’t helping anyone.
- They’re already terrified enough.
- Thomas Jefferson’s alleged quote ”give about two of them [hours, dummies], every day, to exercise; for health must not be sacrificed to learning. A strong body makes the mind strong” is a much better argument for healthy habits than “Freshman 15 coming to your butt” hysteria.
The Freshman 15 is just a sensationalized fear tactic that serves no purpose whatsoever. Instead of telling kids that they should watch out for inevitable fatness, we should tell them to get a grip and grow up. College is a great time for youths to learn how to take care of themselves, and perhaps better nutritional resources would mollify fears of rapid weight gain and help these co-eds develop healthy habits.
via HuffPo//Image via Shutterstock