BOSTON (CBS) — It’s called the “Freshman 15” to signify the amount of weight a new college student is expected to gain after a few too many midnight pizzas. With a few adjustments, it is possible for a college student to avoid packing on the pounds. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, however.

Joan Salge Blake, a registered dietician who teaches nutrition at BU, said that most college students, in reality, gain closer to five pounds. Her concern is that students might continue to gain a few pounds each year. The consequences of gaining weight build over time, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Salge Blake says the first thing students should do to stay healthy is to get up and eat breakfast every day. “We know that if you are skipping breakfast, it is more likely that when you go to eat something it is going to be out of a vending machine or a convenience store.” Another strategy is to eat healthy snacks. One of her favorites is microwave popcorn. It is low in calories and full of whole grains.

Good habits developed early can guide a student through college and life after graduation.


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