Eating Behaviors in College Freshmen Research Paper

Download this Research Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Research Paper:

Eating Behaviors in First Year College Students

Drugs and Alcohol

Eating Behaviors in the First Year College Students

Eating Behaviors in First Year College Students

The transition from high school to undergraduate life is perhaps of the most challenging experiences from adolescence into early adulthood. One of the common side effects of this transition is weight gain that occurs during the first or freshman year of college. The paper will discuss how behaviors related to eating habits and alcohol consumption contributes to the general weight gain of first year undergraduates. Among college students, this weight gain is fairly typical and is known as "the freshman 15," referring to the average amount of pounds undergraduates gain over the course of freshman year -- fifteen pounds. It is a requirement of most colleges and universities of the United States that students are mandated to live on campus and eat from a school meal plan for their freshman year. This means that for a lot of young people, it is their first experience of living independently away from their families and parents. Young people in college learn very quickly that they are in charge of their lives at school rather than at home, and they can make their choices without having to directly or immediately defend or answer for those choices to anyone. For students who come from home with many restrictions, the college experience is exceptionally liberating and for the first time these students have the opportunities to explore parts of life previously forbidden or restricted from them. Some of these forbidden aspects of life include food and alcohol. Students who grew up vegetarian may go to college and experiment eating meat. Students who come from strict religious home may go to college and begin experimentation with drugs and alcohol. Students that were varsity or otherwise competitive athletes may go to college and stop exercising as much as they did previously. All such behaviors contribute to weight gain. The paper will discuss factors and offer conclusions as to what factors coupled with appropriate circumstances make for this prevalent phenomenon of accelerated weight gain during freshman year of college.

Lowery et al. claim that separation from the home and one's familiar surrounding during the freshman year of college, puts students in the position to evaluate themselves from a different perspective. (2005) Furthermore, this new perspective often leads to poor sense of self and poor body image. These feelings directly contribute to factors such as excess alcohol consumption, excess consumption of food, and lack of motivation for exercise, all of which result in weight gain over time:

Body image dissatisfaction, weight concerns, eating problems, and physical attractiveness have become especially significant issues on college campuses (Harris, 1995; Mintz & Betz, 1988), with up to 90% of college students reporting that they worry about body image…As an aspect of physical self-worth, body image dissatisfaction is related to global self-esteem. (Lowery et al., Body Image…, Page 613)

According to their research, most college students are fixated with body image and generally assume the worst about themselves. These feelings easily overwhelm the mind and the emotions and the resulting actions cause weight gain. This is not an isolated issue, but a sort of psychological and physiological epidemic across countries such as the United States. Therefore, the self-esteem of college freshman are direct links to their eating habits and their alcohol consumption. If most freshmen have low self-esteem, then it makes sense that most freshmen acquire "the freshman 15." Thus one way to combat the seemingly inevitable weight gain of freshman year is to cultivate and practice techniques that build healthy senses of self-esteem and self-worth, which lead to positive body image. When there exists positive body image, self-esteem is maintained and the likelihood of accumulation of excessive weight reduces drastically.

Anderson et al. performed a study charting the weight gain of a freshman class of a university. (2003) Their study found that most students did gain a moderate to excessive amount of weight over the course of their freshman year, with relatively even distribution of occurrence across lines of sex, class, and ethnicity. (Anderson et al., The freshman year…, 2003) Interestingly, the majority of the weight gain…[continue]

Cite This Research Paper:

"Eating Behaviors In College Freshmen" (2012, June 08) Retrieved November 29, 2016, from

"Eating Behaviors In College Freshmen" 08 June 2012. Web.29 November. 2016. <>

"Eating Behaviors In College Freshmen", 08 June 2012, Accessed.29 November. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • College Freshman Is Aware That

    This allows for people to work toward removing a few pounds gain rather than many if weigh-ins occur less frequently. Weight obsession is a very possible outcome of this kind of independence, but the truth is that one needs to be aware of weight in order to work with it. Third, a healthy pattern of self-discussion about weight, the factors that an individual currently engages in that lead to

  • Overeating Poor Eating Behavior

    Alcoholism researchers developed this model. The model presumes that a consumer is in one phase of change at any given time. This model entails Maintenance, action, maintenance, preparation or pre-contemplation (Patrick 189). The concept is that consumers have to shift from one stage to the next. The stages prepare them to move to the next ones sequentially. This suggests that if consumers hurry through or if they skip stages

  • Freshman 15 Steady Diet of

    To get enough sleep, students might have to resist the temptation to drink coffee during evening study sessions. Drinking coffee not only upsets sleep cycles; students to grab a cuppa joe with their roommates in the evening probably also grab a snack to go along with it. Too much partying can also upset sleep cycles and lead to irregular eating habits. However, Bowe claims that partying and being lazy are

  • Eating Disorder and Gender

    Eating Disorders and Gender There are medical conditions which more commonly occur in one gender over another. These conditions can be either mental or physical. Very often, they are both mental and physical conditions. Certain medical situations are extremely severe and can potentially result in serious harm to the body or perhaps even death. There are certain conditions which being with a mental impression, a false belief that has been ingrained

  • Overeating and Poor Eating Habits

    The need for these types of interventions has been abundantly documented in recent years at the national as well as state and local levels. At the national level, the Healthy People 2010 initiative cites physical inactivity, overweight, and obesity as being high-priority areas for prevention and intervention in general and especially for youths, because: 1. The percentage of overweight youths has doubled during the past 30 years; 2. As many as 70

  • Obesity and the College Student

    Obesity and the College Student Obesity Grade Course Waking up in the morning realizing that there is already little time left for the class is nothing new for a college student. As a result, grabbing a donut along with a cup of coffee is the only option left. Reaching college and studying for consecutive hours make the student actually get hold of something fast, affordable and filling. The cafeteria is full of options

  • Uni Students Face University Discipline

    Asking for help is discouraged through such a model. So is bringing in personal experience in an unauthorized fashion. By dispensing and withdrawing praise, the new self is shaped. But this sense of independence is 'felt' more than 'reality.' The attempt at objective judgments seeps through -- IQ tests, grades, all require certain practices. Of course, some professors deviate from this formula, and may require portfolios or independent research in

Read Full Research Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved