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'Freshman 15' May Be Just a Myth

Study Debunks Notion That Many College Students Gain 15 Pounds in Their First Year at College

Making Good Food Choices

Lawrence Friedman, MD, says that college students do gain weight, but once again, no more than same-aged people who don't go to college. He is the director of adolescent medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

"Teens are not fully grown at age 17 or 18," he says. "We would expect growth and weight gain during these years that have nothing to do with college."

Still, the new study does not mean freshmen or other college students can become complacent, Friedman tells WebMD.

"Be conscientious about your choices," he says. "Remember that alcohol is high in calories and often consumed in addition to a meal, not in place of one." Alcohol also can take away your inhibitions and nudge you to reach for the phone to order that late-night pizza or make other unhealthy choices.

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