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The “Freshman 15” at Saint Vincent: busting myths, not buttons

Many freshmen enter college with the preexisting notion that by the end of the first semester they will have undergone several changes, one of which may be the gaining of the dreaded “Freshman 15.”

All interviewed students stated that they had heard of the “Freshman 15” before college.

“I’ve definitely heard about it. Maybe from my parents,” said freshman business major undecided E.J. Muriceak. “But it’s just something I knew happened.”

According to The Journal of American College Health, only about 50% of college students experience weight gain, with the average amount of said weight gain reportedly being 2.7 lbs.—not the fabled 15.

From a Saint Vincent College perspective, the so-called “Freshman 15” does not seem to cause a significant amount of concern.

Zachary Metrosky, senior accounting major and cyber security minor, stated that he did not believe there was a need to be overly worried about substantial weight gain at Saint Vincent.

However, Casey Fuga, senior early childhood education major, said that the possibility of gaining a considerable amount of weight is still there.

"I think that it definitely can be true if you are not careful of what you eat,” Fuga said. However, she continued, it can be very difficult in college to eat healthy all of the time or lose weight because of the various temptations to eat unhealthy food, snack throughout the day, not get enough sleep, not get enough exercise, stress out, etc.

While most of the students interviewed did not think the “Freshman 15” was of particular importance to Saint Vincent over any other college, many agreed that it depends on the person and their lifestyle choices if such an amount of weight were to be gained.

Wellness center nurse Kathy Prosperi, RN, BSN and wellness center director Gretchen Flock both stated that not many students come to the Wellness Center for the prevention of or concern over the “Freshman 15.” However, the Center provides a number of assets at the disposal of students who are having weight issues, whether it be maintaining, losing, or gaining.

“All are welcome to use the scale here, and one on one nutritional counselling is offered,” Director Flock said.

Additionally, pamphlets concerning nutrition, how to eat healthy, and exercise programs on campus can also be found in the Wellness Center. However, students do not seem to be aware of the tools available to them should they be concerned about their weight.

Sarah DelMaramo, freshman English major, said that she “was not aware of these programs, but […] can see that they would be useful for those who choose to use them.”

On Oct. 11, the Saint Vincent College Wellness Center will be hosting a Health Fair in the Carey Center Student Lounge from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. where nutrition in college will be covered, according to Flock.

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