The “Freshman 15″ is a Myth? Alas, Not for Me.

by Sally on November 10, 2011

This week, a study from Ohio State about the “Freshman 15″ got a lot of press. Namely because the researchers claim it doesn’t exist.

The “Freshman 15″, those extra pounds college students pack on their first year away from home, is actually more like the “Freshman 2.5 to 3.5″, according to the study. “There are lots of things to worry about when you go to college,” researcher Jay L. Zagorsky told the New York Times. “But gaining weight is not one of them. ”

Oh really? Dr. Zagorsky, meet Real Mom Nutrition circa 1991, who ended her Freshman year nearly 15 pounds heavier than the day she moved into her dorm room, who not only came home with a rather unfortunate perm but also an extra chin.

There are many things I wish someone had told me back then (besides “Pluck those eyebrows already” and “Those opaque white tights aren’t doing anything for your figure”).

So when my kids go off to college, I hope I will manage–in between weeping and clinging and “I wish I could always be with you” like the mom in Toy Story 3–to impart the following wisdom upon them:

  • Bread, cereal, rolls, pretzels, crackers, noodles, pancakes, granola bars, and bagels all come from the same food group. Putting them together on a plate does not make a meal.
  • If you’re going to drink way too many beers, do not go back to your dorm room at 3 am and order a pizza and side of cheesy bread.
  • Don’t drink so much beer. It makes you fat.
  • Just because they serve Belgian waffles with soft-serve ice cream after every single meal in the dining hall doesn’t mean you should eat it.
  • You may hate your 8 a.m. geology class. But stopping on the way there to get a cinnamon bun the size of your face three days a week will not make it any better.
  • The serving size for Grape Nuts cereal is 1/2 cup. If you fill your bowl all the way to the top from those nifty bulk cereal dispensers in the cafeteria, you will be eating two cups of Grape Nuts cereal. And 800 calories. That’s without the milk (and side of donuts).
  • Splitting a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cake with your roommate is a awfully sad way to spend a Friday night.
  • It will take nine months to gain it–but likely years to finally lose it.

How about you? Was the “Freshman 15″ a myth–or reality–for you?

Photo by PinkStock Photos!

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