Is the 'Freshman 15' real?

You've probably heard this before: freshman are likely to gain an average of 15 pounds their first year away from home. Is that rumor or reality?

It's the longtime theory that freshmen are likely to gain an average of 15 pounds their first year away from home. But how realistic is this? We decided to go to the experts to verify.

Freshman year of college means a new school, home, and even new friends. It also opens the door for new decisions you’ll have to make. And when it comes to finding something to eat, they're decisions that could potentially be unhealthy.

Late nights studying or looking for a quick bite to eat in between classes creates a situation where the fast and other not-so-good-for-you foods are tough to avoid.

"When there's a dramatic change in life. The possibility of weight gain is there," said dietician Amy McCallister.

McCallister said there are so many ways to gain weight in college without even realizing it.

"There could be limited finances that first year so you're just not eating as well as you did at home,” she said. “You have access to all you can eat food on campus for the first time."

But 15 pounds worth?

Most of the incoming freshmen we spoke with in the Valley believe it’s a myth. And they’re right!

We CAN verify that most freshmen DON’T usually gain 15 pounds.

"There is a little bit of weight gain that could correlate just because of individual reasons," McCallister said.

Studies show the average is between 2.5 to 3.5 pounds that first year.

So freshmen, don’t freak out and enjoy moving into the next phase in life.

McCallister said you just need to have a plan.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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