Universities Fight The “Freshman 15”
CHARLOTTE, NC – Surveys show that the fight against the “Freshman 15” is becoming a growing challenge. While many universities are instituting healthy programs, just eating right isn’t doing the trick; now Charlotte area colleges are pushing for more.
Karen Correa gained more than 10 pounds her freshman year at UNC Charlotte. Correa said the excess of food was difficult to resist, “Ice cream, pizza, endless pasta.” Correa is an Exercise Science Major, but still having all the health knowledge wasn’t enough to fight against the freshman temptations. Correa says she didn’t realize how much she gained until she went home, “I went home one weekend and my mom was like wow, you put on some weight.”
A survey by Utah State University showed 1 in 4 freshman gained an average of 10 pounds during their first semester.
Now universities are taking action against the freshman weight gain. Dr. Brauning is the Coordinator of “Eat Less, Move More” at UNC Charlotte. She says the university offers multiple programs to help with the freshman weight, “They all have the opportunity to get one-on-one counseling for weight loss that can be directed specifically for them, we have also added healthy snacks to the vending machines.”
In addition to adding healthy snacks to the vending machines, UNC Charlotte is going one step further by adding signs about nutrition all over campus and in the vending machines, hoping it will help educate students make the right choice.
Still students like Sophomore Allie Barbera say the college could be doing more, “The environment you are in often dictates what food is available to you, so you go for the fast food or the easier option.”
Dr. Brauning says part of making healthy choices comes down to self control, "When someone gives you the apple and someone gives you the fries, what inside of you that makes you choose the fries?”
Still Dr. Brauning says the university is committed to the fight against the pounds, "We don't want you to gain this freshman 15 because studies show 10 years down the line you’re going to have a higher risk for diabetes so lets prevent this.”
UNC Charlotte is also offering zumba and kick boxing classes as part of there health program. For more information visit the UNC Charlotte website.
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