SAN DIEGO — Freshmen year in college has become almost synonymous with weight gain, but a study finds that the so-called “Freshmen 15″ is actually a myth, and can cause psychological harm.
The study suggests that the fallacy may cause psychological harm by perpetuating a negative attitude toward weight.
Last year, a study conducted at Mount Mercy College of 49 incoming freshmen revealed no significant weight gain within the school year.
The study asked students about their eating attitudes and behaviors, body image, demographic data, exercise habits, awareness and concern about the “Freshman 15.” The Eating Attitudes Test, one of the most widely used standardized tests for assessing the symptoms and concerns of eating disorders, was used to measure eating attitudes. In addition, students were administered a questionnaire to measure concerns about body image while both their body fat and weight were recorded.
“Freshmen who were concerned about gaining 15 pounds were more likely at the end of the year to think about their weight, have a poorer body image and categorize themselves as overweight,” Melody Graham, who headed the experiment, stated in her study. “This may distort a student’s thinking about weight, possibly leading to a more negative body image.”
San Diego State University sophomore Taylor Cranney agrees the “Freshman 15″ could potentially pose psychological harm because appearance is regarded very highly among college-aged students.
Cranney suggests students could be educated on eating habits that would prevent or hinder these effects.
Universities nationwide publish articles about the proverbial “Freshman 15,” a common saying that students gain 15 pounds during their first year of college, according to registered dietitian Lisa Talamini, director of program development and nutrition at Jenny Craig’s corporate office in Carlsbad.
A study of 60 students this year reported that freshmen gain an average of 4.2 pounds in their first college year, according to results from Cornell University.
The results were similar to another study conducted last year on 1,800 college freshmen. The study, done by Tufts University, concluded male students gained an average of six pounds and females gained an average of four-and-a-half pounds during their first college year.
“Students typically eat on a budget, study a lot and snack when they do,” Talamini said. “It’s easy to mindlessly munch away an entire bag of chips.”
Talamini said students pull all-nighters and eat to stay awake through a project when fatigue is often mistaken for hunger. She said behavior like this often leads to weight gain.
Author of The Origin Diet and registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer suggests college freshmen plan their meals, keep a food journal and exercise regularly.
“If you’re serious about attaining or maintaining a realistic weight, then commitment must become your middle name,” Somer said.
Senior Alex Garcia said he knows it’s hard to eat right at restaurants on campus, but has found his own health solution to weight gain.
“I choose specific foods out of (Aztec Market) to maintain the nutritional feeding habit,” Garcia said.
Until recently, local high school senior and college-bound student Ben Stern had never heard about the “Freshman 15.” Nevertheless, he said it does not give him cause for concern.
“I think I’ll gain a little bit of weight because I’ll just stop caring, but 15 pounds is way over-exaggerated,” he said.
San Diego State is following suit in political correctness withother universities across the country by dropping the word “foreign”from the general catalog’s “Foreign Language Requirement.”
According to Dean of Division of Undergraduate Studies GeoffreyChase, the University Senate decided to delete the word “foreign”from the title last Tuesday. Chase said the extraneous word carriesnegative connotations and should, therefore, be omitted in the nextpublication of the general catalog.
Members of the Undergraduate Council, who drafted a rationale, insupport of this initiative wrote: “The term ‘foreign’ has been usedto designate something alien and is as ethnocentric and inappropriateas using ‘oriental’ to designate a person of Asian descent.”Moreover, members pointed out many universities that have alreadychanged the wording of the requirement such as Stanford University,University of Michigan, University of Chicago and University ofTexas.
Chase said he knew of some Cal State Universities that havealready made the transition. CSU San Marcos did so in 1999. Prior tothis, Chase said other alternatives for the existing title included”Non-English Language” and “Second Language,” but were both rejectedby the council since English is not always a primary language in thehousehold. He said the change will be implemented at SDSU free ofcost and he does not expect any problems with it.
“I don’t think it is too vague,” Chase said. “From my perspective,the term ‘language’ is fine.”
Althoughthe action does not change graduation requirements, linguistics andoriental languages professor Zev Bar-Lev disagrees with the council’sdecision and considers it harmful. He said while small doses ofpolitical correctness can be helpful to avoid giving offense inwriting, its excess will hog-tie writers and speakers.
“The inevitable result is new stereotypes: female fireperson, malenurse,” he said.
Bar-Lev said stereotyping is the real villain within the issue.
“If I have to choose a stereotype, I no more want to be forced tochoose the unrealistic one over the realistic one,” he said.”Presumably the requirement listing is clear enough legally, but whythe debasement of language by subordinating accuracy to PC-ness?”
Classics and humanities professor Nicholas Genovese, who alsoopposes this motion, said a ‘Language Requirement’ does not suffice.
“The original purpose of our ‘foreign’ language requirement (is)to introduce liberal arts and sciences majors to foreign cultures,traditions and nations through other languages and literatures,”Genovese said. “A ‘language requirement’ does not ensure this.”
According to Bar-Lev, many universities are oblivious that theirspeech codes create a problem for a great American value – freespeech. He said many universities seek diversity of skin color, butfew seek diversity of opinion in their faculty or guest speakers.However, diversity of opinion is what a university should be allabout, he said.
Biology senior Ken Colburn said he doesn’t think the word”foreign” is necessary, but also believes the issue is a littleirrelevant.
“I think it shows how our society has become more and morepolitically correct to the point where we’re afraid to offendanyone,” he said.
Communication sophomore Tamara Murray said the movement from”Foreign Language Requirement” to “Language Requirement” doesn’tbother her.
“It makes sense,” Murray said. “By assuming English is the onlynon-foreign language, the term could seem discriminatory. It’ssomething I don’t usually think about as a native speaker.”
Earmarked by testy comebacks and sharp criticism, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry faced off in an intense debate that provided a stark contrast to divisive topics such as the war in Iraq, taxes, stem cell research and abortion.
Bush dove into a military report to justify the war in Iraq. Authored by chief U.S. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer, one of the key findings in the report stated Saddam Hussein wanted to preserve the capability for Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.
“(Going to Iraq) was the right decision,” Bush said. “The Duelfer report confirmed that decision today … And the biggest threat facing America is terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.”
However, Kerry moved the spotlight to the fact Saddam possessed no WMD during the time of the U.S. invasion, according to the same report. Kerry further stressed Bush did not go to war as a last resort, saying it was “a catastrophic mistake” and that he rushed to Iraq “without a plan to win the peace.”
When asked about maintaining a military presence in Iraq, the president was quick to clear draft rumors, which circulated the Internet.
“We’re not going to have a draft so long as I am the president,” Bush said.
But when Kerry pointed out the president went to war unilaterally instead of building alliances, Bush interjected moderator Charles Gibson’s prompt to a new question.
“I’ve got to answer this,” Bush said.
“You tell Tony Blair we’re going alone,” he said to Kerry.
The president also criticized Kerry for complaining about inadequate military equipment such as the 10,000 unarmored Humvees American troops use in Iraq.
Said Bush: “He voted against the $87 billion supplemental I sent to the Congress and then issued one of the most amazing quotes in political history: ‘I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.’”
The Democratic challenger, nonetheless, gave a chiding remark of his own with talks about saving money for the middle class.
“We did something that you don’t know how to do: We balanced the budget,” Kerry said to Bush about healthcare reform. “And we paid down the debt of our nation for two years in a row.”
In order to help Americans who are earning less than $200,000 a year, Kerry promised not to raise taxes, which he deemed a better plan than Bush’s tax cut that saved the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans $89 billion last year.
The president countered his pledge, stating Kerry voted 98 times to raise taxes in the past.
“You can run, but you can’t hide,” Bush said. “I mean, these aren’t make-up figures.”
Differences sharpened when the Democrat addressed the issue of curing diseases such as Parkinson’s by using embryonic stem cells. Provided embryonic stem cell research is ethically guided for cures, he said it is the nature of the human spirit to seek out that option.
“I think it is respecting life to reach for that cure,” Kerry said. “I think it is respecting life to do it in an ethical way.”
Although Bush approved federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, he cautioned to be careful in balancing ethics and science.
“Embryonic stem-cell research requires the destruction of life to create a stem cell,” he said. “To destroy life to save life is one of the real ethical dilemmas that we face.”
Bush even had stronger convictions about abortion.
“I signed the ban on partial-birth abortion,” he said. “It’s a brutal practice. It’s one way to help reduce abortions. My opponent voted against the ban.
“I think there ought to be parental notification laws. (Kerry’s) against them.”
In turn, Kerry explained a scenario as to why he was opposed to such laws.
“I’m not going to require a 16- or 17-year-old kid who’s been raped by her father and who’s pregnant to have to notify her father,” Kerry said.
Kerry also said he can’t take what is an article of faith for himself and legislate it for someone who does not share that same belief.
After the second debate came to a close last Friday, polls still declared it a tight race. An ABC poll revealed 44 percent felt Kerry won, whereas 41 percent felt Bush won with a margin error of 3 percentage points. A CNN/USA Today/Gallop Poll stated 47 and 45 percent, respectively, with plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Verbal sparring between the two continued outside of Washington University, when Bush ridiculed his opponent by telling his supporters Kerry “must think we’ve been on another planet” at the time of the debate. Meanwhile, Kerry told his supporters in Ohio “the president couldn’t even name one mistake,” when he was asked to specify three.
Both presidential candidates campaign in swing states as each awaits the third and final debate, which airs 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Shaggy still sounds like he’s swallowed a frog, and you still have no clue what he’s singing about. But at least you’ll be bopping your head to his boombastic reggae beats. With a plethora of orgasmic sound samples, Shaggy, aka Mr. Lover, wastes no time easing you into his hedonistic world. “Shut Up and Dance” and “Broadway” could have easily been summer dance anthems, had it not been for the late release of this disc. Then again, it’s always summer in San Diego.
– Michael Kuhlmann
It’s an epic disappointment when the intro, interlude and outro of your comeback album sound better than the full-length tracks squished in between.
Ginuwine’s latest release doesn’t quite get “Back II Da Basics,” since he doesn’t capture the “Pony” Genuwine of 1996. Still, the slow, lovey-dovey R&B songs like “Betta Half” (for your upcoming Valentine’s Day) are the perfect replacements for those Aaron Hall, Dru Hill and Boyz II Men grooves.
– MICHAEL KUHLMANN
A dozen tranquil and somber melodies comprise the emotive set on “White Limousine,” Duncan Sheik’s long-awaited new album (in stores Tuesday), and some tracks are sure to make Midori’s “Big Sonic Chill” radio program.
The Garden State native trained his voice, no doubt, which makes for an effortless communication of solemn words. Sheik’s departure from the pop realm since 1996 has garnered him much support from his loyal fan base. And though he’s slightly reinvented himself, his stylistic nuances of dreary lyrics are still there – Hey Casanova, you don’t look too good / But I know times are tough.
– MICHAEL KUHLMANN
Jim Adkins walks you through a slow and painful heartbreak on his aptly titled EP. His lyrics don’t fall victim to the classic let-me-die emo mantra, and the remixed “Drugs or Me” might even represent a departure from that genre.
It’s reminiscent of Frou Frou, with its stuttering sound samples and distorted bass line. Adkins also adds a vital touch of reality on “Disintegration,” with his melancholic words, This poison comes instruction free / Do what you want but I’m drinking.
– MICHAEL KUHLMANN
Jamiroquai’s “Dynamite” could be the soundtrack to a groovy 1970s fashion show with its strange, eclectic mix of experimental electro-rock, rock-funk and disco-pop beats. Jason Kay provides lots of ear candy on “Electric Mistress,” which sounds like it’s been phased through a Super Mario Bros. game. Most of the sing-along choruses are tailored to the dance floor, but “Dynamite” is one psychedelic ride that just needs more TNT.
– MICHAEL KUHLMANN
Take one part Dave Matthews Band, one part Slightly Stoopid and an ounce of the Verve Pipe, stir it up and you’ve got O.A.R. Surprisingly, the reggae-pop-rock mixology works.
The grass-roots quintet distills any notion that it’s just another garage band with such catchy tunes as “Program Director,” “Dakota” and “Lay Down.” Frontman Marc Roberge finally serves what his audience has craved for nine years – a crisp production with a bold sound. O.A.R.’s refined delivery on “Stories of a Stranger” is a quantum leap from its days of playing frat parties.
– MICHAEL KUHLMANN
John Popper cooks up a musical jambalaya that blends rock, blues, soul and even a dash of funk on the band’s ninth album. On “After What,” he translates his recent roller-coaster love life into a cathartic verse, singing Don’t blame heaven or hell / You’ll have to look to your self.
But while the album has sizzling momentum on a syrupy “Amber Awaits,” it simmers down too soon. “Nail” and “Rubberneck” are among the best tracks revolving the heartache theme, yet they can’t compensate for messy and sometimes mushy lyrics thereafter. Popper creates a wholesome, 14-song set, but, unfortunately, his concoctions are an acquired taste.
– MICHAEL KUHLMANN