Oct 292003
Authors: Carmen Filosa

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

temporary results.

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.




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