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Dec 14, 2016 04:28 AM EST

Why do Students Gain Weight When They Go to College

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One of the worst fears of so many teenagers who are conscious about their weight is the so-called "Freshman 15" where a lot of them actually gain weight when they go to college. However, recent studies suggest that this goes beyond their freshman year because as soon as they leave their universities, majority of them are found to have increased their weight by 10 pounds.

According to the research at the University of Vermont where they followed 117 students from 2011 to 2016, most of the college students gain weight because of unhealthy diet, excessive drinking and lack of exercise. Researchers emphasized the importance of a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle to avoid complications with their health in the future.

"These findings suggest that health practitioners should not limit their programming to just to that first year," lead author Dr. Lizzy Pope said, "but extend it over all four years of the college experience."

Dr. Pope, together with the other researchers in the university conducted the study by measuring the students' weight and body mass during their freshman year and at the end of their senior year. They found out that 41 percent of the students became obese or overweight because of low intake of healthy food like fruits and vegetables, high intake of alcohol and lack of exercise.

The researchers emphasized that this is something that should be taken seriously because being overweight or obese can increase a young person's risk of suffering from certain serious health conditions later in their lives including diabetes, high blood pressure and many others. Another study also suggest that obesity can cause poor brain function in the future which is why Dr. Pope would like to remind these college students who are prone to obesity to better take good care of their health before their habits take a toll on their health in the future.

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