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Students Cope With Stress Through Eating Too

Posted Jan 19 2009 12:00am

It’s a well-known fact that a high percentage of incoming college freshmen gain weight their first year at school. For years it has been referred to as The Freshman 15 as it was thought the average weight gain was about 15 pounds. However, the latest figures show consistent weight gains of 3 to 10 pounds in the freshman year. Last year, a study looking at the cause of this weight gain was completed. It was determined that about 55% of the sample population gained weight which was associated with higher levels of perceived stress, particularly in women. It appears the stress of being on their own and away from family, making new friends, harder classes and increased competition causes students to reach for more food. It was determined that many ate because they were sad, lonely, and bored. Food became a friend and was comforting. This pattern is concerning as it shows the relationship between food and stress on the young. It shows the need for development of other coping mechanisms.

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