The Freshman 15, the 15 pounds many students supposedly to gain when they start college due to the freedom from parental control, might be just a myth. According to an article by Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post:

The “Freshman 15” turns out to be a media myth, the study concludes, one that is powerful enough to be cited commonly as truth. In fact, the study says, women gain an average of 2.4 pounds during their freshman year and men 3.4 pounds.

The researchers learned that throughout a college career, female students gain on average seven to nine pounds and male students 12 to 13 pounds. No more than 10 percent of college freshman gained 15 pounds or more, the study said. And a quarter of freshman reported losing weight during their freshman year.

The study also indicated that the only factor that really seem to have any influence on weight gain was alcohol consumption. Students who were heavy drinkers gained weight freshman year.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer