The Freshman 15: Fact or Fiction


In America the obesity issue has become an epidemic with a large proportion of the population reaching obesity status. It is important to analyze what contributes to obesity so that solutions may be made and preventions can take place. One of the target populations that have been identified as being at an increased risk for obesity is first-year college freshmen. This fact has gained popularity among the general public through the catch-phrase the “Freshman 15,” an idea that college students gain fifteen pounds in their first year at school. The purpose for this thesis was to research articles, summarize and analyze findings, and form a conclusion about the validity of the “Freshman 15.” Through this process, the “Freshman 15” was found to be an exaggerated statement about the actual weight gain of first-year college students. This thesis then delves into the reasoning behind the increased susceptibility of college freshmen to gaining weight such as dietary habits, physiological changes, physical activity, and psychological issues.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 4-29-2013


Mary W. Wilson

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Family and Consumer Sciences

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Family and Consumer Sciences

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