By Kelli Born
ATHENS, Ga. – Glenn Lamm lifted up his gray T-shirt to let his belly hang out.
“I used to have abs; I don’t know what happened to them,” said Lamm, a junior at the University of Georgia.
Incoming freshman are being well educated about the possibility of gaining the dreaded Freshman 15 the first few months of college. Schools such as the University of Georgia are offering special programs to help freshman avoid gaining the Freshman 15. They suggest finding time to exercise daily and eating snacks such as fruit or pretzels rather than candy or pizza.
“Some people eat to feel better since eating can have a soothing effect, and some use eating as a way of maintaining control of at least on portion of their life,” said Peg Abell, a nutritionist at the University of Georgia.
A whole new level of stress is added on to student upon arriving at school. They are no longer under the wings of their parents and have the ability to eat what they choose. They are also experiencing harder course loads and tougher professors and seek comfort in food.
“I weighed 115 when I came, and I got up to 140,” said Joe Leung, a junior at the University of Georgia.
Cheese crackers, doughnuts, popcorn, breakfast cereals, chocolate and sodas were found in the dorm rooms of University of Georgia students. Students are continuing to eat more junk food at all times of the day and night.
“We call them pie hours,” said Jim Martin, manager of California Style Pizza, regarding the 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift.
The pizza shop delivers up to 50 pizzas per hour to the campus nearby. Extra pizzas are made to sell on the spot to hungry students.
The Freshman 15 takes its toll on male and female students.
Freshman Vanessa Varvarezis had eaten more than 900 calories for dinner at the Bolton Hall one evening, before a late-night pizza run. Her meal consisted of spaghetti, garlic break, vegetables, about eight cookies and a fudge ice cream pop.
“I think I’ve already gained it,” said Varvarezis, who had only been at school for a few weeks.
Stephen Bailey, a sociology professor, rejects the reality of the Freshman 15. He conducted a study following 120 women from the University of Georgia through their freshman year.
“On average, women gained a little bit less than a pound,” said Bailey. “They gained a bit between the fall and spring and lost all of that over the course of the summer.”