Don’t fear the “Freshman 15”

 

The salad bar at the Cumberland Cafe.

The salad bar at the Cumberland Cafe.

By SUSIE REMPFER

Staff Writer

Freshmen at colleges everywhere are worried about gaining the “freshman 15.” 

Students at Cumberland County College are no exception. There are, however, ways in which to prevent weight gain.

Studies show that students do not usually gain a full 15 pounds. On average it ranges from 3 to 10 pounds collectively put on within the first two years of college, especially the first semester of freshman year. 

One reason weight gain is so common in college is because there is no mandatory physical education class as in high school. Students become less active and more involved in partying and studying. Jeffrey Etherton, a freshman at CCC, said, “I’m definitely less active this year. All four years in high school I wrestled and did other types of exercise. I do try to work out, but I don’t have as much time.”

Following the FDA approved food pyramid is a good way to start eating healthy. 

According to kidshealth.org,  “70% of college aged students get less than the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.” 

Another way is to simply pick better food options. Avoid sodas, greasy fried foods, and use large portion sizes sparingly. 

“I do eat out a lot more than I used to. Sometimes for both lunch and dinner,” added Jeff.   

The Cumberland Café can be a good alternative choice to eating out. The Café offers a create-your-own salad bar with a variety of soups and fresh fruits. Whole grain cereals, and different juices and teas are also available daily. 

Besides a balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep and regular exercise will help keep off the extra pounds. The college fitness center is open to all students with proper ID and sneakers. Different types of workout machines are available to help students get into shape. 

It is also important to eat foods rich in calcium, because the average twenty-year-old is still building up bone mass. Weight-bearing exercises like running also helps. Habits like drinking large amounts of soda, drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes decrease the absorption of calcium. 

Health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breathlessness, joint discomfort, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes, can be brought on by unhealthy eating habits learned in college. Also, there is an increased risk of developing some types of cancer. 

By eating right, getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep, and exercising when possible will help keep off the dreaded freshman 15. It will also help stop memory lags, making it easier to concentrate and memorize important information.

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