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Freshman Eating Binge is Real

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CORNELL, N.Y., Jul 25, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Cornell University study says the "freshman 15," the weight gain experienced by college freshmen, could be a real phenomenon.

A Professor David A. Levitsky found the eating binge, long suspected of piling on 15 pounds during the first year of college, is largely due to all-you-can-eat dining halls.

The study noted college freshmen gain an average of 4.2 pounds during their first 12 weeks on campus.

"Significant weight gain during the first semester of college is a real phenomenon, with breakfast and lunch at all-you-can-eat dining facilities accounting for 20 percent of the weight gain," said Levitsky, a professor of nutritional sciences and psychology at Cornell.

Other significant predictors of weight gain, he says, include the number of snacks eaten, the number of meals eaten on weekends, the consumption of "junk" food and recent dieting. Recent dieters are more apt to gain weight, Levitsky said.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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