SAN ANTONIO – Medical researchers have determined that college freshmen will gain, on average,  50 pounds.

The term “Freshman 15” describes a phenomenon in which college students (mostly girls) gain weight their first year attending a college or university. This is mostly attributed to the severe lifestyle changes experienced by incoming freshmen.

But new research done by the University of Eastern Texas has revealed that average poundage gained by freshmen has increased dramatically over the years.  Because of the  sedentary lifestyle of most teenagers (and college freshmen) and because of the high-calorie diets in most dining halls, freshmen at college campuses across the country should expect to gain 50 pounds, on average, this year.

Typically the first semester at a college or university is a transitional period for a college freshman, where they break apart from the rules of their parents to become self-sufficient young adults.  Without parental guidance, a college freshman is able to go as they please, do what they please, drink and eat what they want, when they want. And they want a lot, all the time!

Here are a just a few causes of the Freshmen 50:

* Lack of exercise
* Eating late at night
* Keeping unhealthy snacks on hand (in the dorm room)
* Lack of athletic sex
* Eating unhealthy cafeteria food
* Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
* Too much Red Bull
* Not eating regular meals
* Watching too many vampire movies/TV shows
* Too much texting (causes fat fingers)
* Binge drinking
* Not enough Vitamin F (fruit)

Medial researchers at UET have news for those freshmen who think “not eating” will be the cure for the Freshmen 50.  “If you don’t eat, your metabolism will slow to a crawl and you will gain even more weight,” said Dr. Rose Blanton of UET  Medical Center. “We advise all freshmen to eat three healthy meals a day and to drink small amounts of vodka instead of large amounts of beer. And if you must smoke pot, make sure that the only food in the immediate vicinity is raw vegetables.”

Girls are more susceptible to the Freshman 50 than guys. Some blame genetics for the ability for girls to gain more weight than boys. Freshman girls tend to pack on the extra pounds in different locations around their body including their hips, thighs, breasts, butt, eyelids, cheeks and stomach. Males tend to mostly gain the weight around the waist and armpits.  But guys, you will gain weight according to the medical team at UET.

Regular exercise is the biggest weapon against fighting the Freshman 50. Working out helps tone muscle, and running helps burn fat and calories.  At the school gym, students can run or walk on a treadmill, ride a exercise bike, or other aerobic machines to help burn fat with cardio workouts. Other options include lifting weights to turn fat into muscle.

That’s all good, but according to medical researchers at UET, there really isn’t much freshman can do. “You can exercise more, you can eat right, but you’ll probably still gain 50 pounds,” said Blanton. “It’s just the way it is.”  But Blanton does have some brighter news for freshmen. “The good news is that come sophomore year, the weight usually falls off.  So just enjoy your freshman year, which I like to call  The Year of Flab.”

Good luck, freshmen!


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