Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Legend of 'the freshman 15' alive and well, students say

Jacksonville State freshmen Erica Crane, left, and Stephanie Chambers have lunch at Jefferson's. Photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star

JACKSONVILLE — Many french fries and sodas ago, Jacksonville State University senior Paige Baker was 25 pounds heavier.

"It happened, I gained 25 pounds and just recently lost it," she said Tuesday, in between waiting tables at Jefferson's restaurant on Pelham Road.

"I ate out all the time. There was the beer — I was eating really, really late at night."

All the while, the nightmare weight-gain scenario, often referred to as "the freshman 15" — the proverbial 15 pounds students gain their first year of college — was dismissed as a fantasy, she said.

"I used to say, I'm not going to gain that weight," Baker said.

As freshmen wade into the next four years of college, the fear of gaining weight might not be a top concern alongside the pressures of maintaining grades for scholarships and forming lasting friendships.

But as obesity rates around the nation continue to rise, the lasting effects of eating and exercise patterns developed in college could be shaping people for years after graduation according to researchers and campus health experts.

See the full story here.

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