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FROM: HEART RE: Healthy Mondays-Freshman 15
8/28/2012 10:16:05 AM
To: Students, Faculty, Staff

Healthy Mondays

The “Freshman 15” from TeensHealth

Everyone's heard warnings about the "freshman 15." But is it true that many college students pack on 15 pounds during their first year at school?

Recent studies find that some first-year students are indeed likely to gain weight — but it might not be the full freshman 15 and it may not all happen during freshman year. That might sound like good news, but it's not. Doctors are concerned that students who gradually put on pounds are establishing a pattern of weight gain that could spell trouble if it continues.

Studies show that students on average gain 3 to 10 pounds during their first 2 years of college. Most of this weight gain occurs during the first semester of freshman year.

Weight Worry

Some weight gain is normal as an adolescent body grows and metabolism shifts. But pronounced or rapid weight gain may become a problem.

Weight gain that pushes you above the body's normal range carries health risks. People who are overweight are more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breathlessness, and joint problems. People who are overweight when they're younger have a greater likelihood of being overweight as adults. Poor diet and exercise habits in college can start you on a path that could later lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or obesity, and may increase your risk for developing certain cancers.

Avoiding Weight Gain

The best way to beat weight gain is to prevent it altogether. Good habits like a balanced diet, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep can do more than keep the pounds off — they can also help you stay healthy and avoid problems down the line. Adopting some simple practices can have a big impact today and years from now.

Here are some easy ways to adopt a healthy food attitude:

ü  avoid eating when stressed, while studying, or while watching TV

ü  eat slowly

ü  eat at regular times and try not to skip meals

ü  keep between-meal and late-night snacking to a minimum

ü  choose a mix of nutritious foods

ü  pick lower-fat options when you can, such as low-fat milk instead of whole milk or light salad dressing instead of full-fat dressing

ü  watch the size of your portions

ü  resist going back for additional servings

ü  steer clear of vending machines and fast food

ü  keep healthy snacks like fruit and vegetables on hand in your room

ü  replace empty-calorie soft drinks with water or skim milk

These are also some lifestyle changes you can make to avoid gaining weight:

ü  Be aware of your food attitude

ü  Learn about nutrition

ü  Watch alcohol consumption

ü  Avoid smoking

ü  Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day

ü  Get enough sleep

To learn more please contact Fran Fayish at: or call x 5922.