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Freshman 15? It's More Like Freshman 3.5

Study finds that college newbies don't pack on so many pounds

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 1, 2011 10:10 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Good news for the 18-year-olds of the world: All that pizza and, uhh, those Solo cup-housed beverages you consume this year probably won't actually add the dreaded "Freshman 15" to your frame. A national study has found that the typical female student gains only 2.4 pounds during her freshman year; for males, the average is 3.4 pounds. More surprising stats: 25% of freshman lose weight, and only about 10% actually hit the 15-pound mark.

And college really isn't to blame. Teens of the same age who didn't attend school gain weight, too; about a half-pound less than their collegiate peers. The study's findings come from a survey of 7,418 Americans who were between the ages of 13 and 17 in 1997; they were interviewed then and every year following, and their weight and college status were recorded. How'd they fare beyond freshman year? The study found that the average woman gains 7 to 9 pounds, and the average man tacks on 12 to 13 pounds, during his or her college career, reports Ohio State University.

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