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Keeping Off The Freshman 15

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

August 24, 2006

Almost 3,000 first-year UVA students are living away from home for the first-time and so they're facing lifestyle changes and choices, including eating and exercise habits.

It's called the 'Freshman 15,' which are the 15 pounds students supposedly gain their freshman year. Studies show it's more like freshman 4 or 5 pounds.

"There may be some changes in lifestyle, changes in eating habits, times," said Melanie Brede a Nutritionist and Dietician.

The key to preventing weight-gain is exercising regularly and eating healthly and often--especially fruits and vegetables.

"Many students perceive that there's just pizza and fries and that's it. But there's really many stations in all of the dining halls where there's salad bars and there's fresh cooked food. So there's lots of good options available," said Brede.

Some that have been through it before have some advice:

"By eating healthy by eating organic...and riding your bike," said a UVA grad student.

"I think the biggest reason people gain weight is from drinking," said 4th-Year UVA student Crystal Clements.

Students--don't be discouraged. There's also evidence that almost as many students lose weight when they first start school. That's also because of the transition.

Nutritionists recommend that students try to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day.


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