With all-you-can-eat buffets in the dining halls and sometimes a
lack of time for regular exercise, some incoming students may
struggle with the tradition of the freshmen 15.
“Obesity is a problem nationwide and at this campus,” said Tamar
Cline, strength and fitness coordinator at the Student Recreation
Cline said the key to success in college is balance.
Cline blames a lifestyle change for the weight some students
gain upon starting college.
Cline said students who are concerned about the freshmen 15
should come to the Student Recreation Center to take advantage of
the many classes and services it provides, such as group fitness
classes and nutrition seminars.
“(The recreation center) is the best place to take advantage of
and get information,” said Cline.
While lack of exercise can sometimes be blamed for weight gain,
some students accuse the residence hall food.
“Its hard to eat healthy in the dorms,” said J.J. Prentiss, a
construction management freshman.
Prentiss said the food options offered through the residence
halls are not different from those at his home, but said the danger
in gaining weigh lies in the fact that there is so much food
Prentiss said he tries to live healthy by staying away from
greasy food and soda and exercising every day.
“People who are going to get the freshmen 15 are the ones who
don’t have willpower,” Prentiss said.
New college students may have weight problems if they do not
know how to eat healthy, choose unhealthy snack and drink options
and do not make an effort to engage in regular physical activity,
according to Marcie Wlodarczak, a dietician at Hartshorn Health
“The main thing is you have kids who have never thought about
what they eat,” said Wlodarczak.
Though the freshmen 15 is associated with college, Wlodarzak
said bad eating habits can last a lifetime and can put students at
risk for diseases later in life.
She said another danger students face is the popularity of
unhealthy fad diets.
“They want an easy way out, but being healthy is not about being
easy,” Wlodarzak said.
Wlodarzak said the most common fad students try is the low
carbohydrate diet, which is not balanced and provides only
Hartshorn offers a nutrition service called Weight Loss 101 and
is available to teach students how to eat healthy.
The service helps students who need to lose weight or are
concerned about gaining weight in the future.
Wlodarzak said the service is individualized so that every
student’s recommended diet is based off his or her level of regular
physical activity and personal situation.
“Its easier to prevent weight gain than lose weight,” Wlodarzak
Janet Utschig, a freshman psychology and equine student, said
she finds it challenging to maintain the healthy lifestyle that she
had while she was living at home.
Due to her father’s heart condition, Utchig said her family’s
diet consisted of very little fat.
“I eat a lot more normal than they do,” Utchig said.