Academic journal article Human Ecology

Freshmen Weight Gain Has National Obesity Implications: Cornell Nutritionists Report That College Freshmen Gain an Average of 4.2 Pounds during Their First 12 Weeks on Campus

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Freshmen Weight Gain Has National Obesity Implications: Cornell Nutritionists Report That College Freshmen Gain an Average of 4.2 Pounds during Their First 12 Weeks on Campus

Article excerpt

"SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT gain during the first semester of college is a real phenomenon, with breakfast and lunch at all-you-can-eat dining facilities accounting for 20 percent of the weight gain." says David A. Levitsky, professor of nutritional sciences and of psychology at Cornell. Other significant predictors of weight gain include the number of evening snacks, the number of meals consumed on weekends, the consumption of "junk" foods, and recent dieting (recent dieters are more apt to gain weight).

Levitsky and his colleagues believe the freshman weight gain could be the same phenomenon that is contributing to the epidemic of obesity among all Americans--that a relatively small increase in calories each day or week has the cumulative effect of adding a significant amount of weight over the years.

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Former Cornell student Craig A. Halbmaier '01 worked with Levitsky and research associate Gordana Mrdjenovic to assess the weight gain of 60 Cornell first-semester students (85 percent of them female). Levitsky presented the findings in July in the Netherlands, at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviors. …

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