Our View: Studies show ‘Generation XL’ continues to pack on the pounds

DKS Editors

The “freshman 15” is something that has been dreaded by new college students for years.

“At the end of the freshman year, more than 17 percent were overweight or obese, compared to only 14 percent at the start,” according to a post on CBSNEWS HealthWatch.

The good news about the study is that it shows students gain less than the stereotypical 15 pounds their first year, but students continue to add on pounds their sophomore year.

“Something about the freshman year and the sophomore year is putting these kids at risk,” Thomas Wadden, president of the Obesity Society and director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania, told CBSNEWS HealthWatch. “I suspect part of this is they now have access to large amounts of food they can eat freely (without their parents to monitor them),” he added.

However, problems with weight gain don’t start with higher education.

First Lady Michelle Obama formally announced a program last year to end the American plague of childhood obesity in a generation. This shows jut how large of a problem obesity is in our country.

“We want to eliminate this problem of childhood obesity in a generation. We want to get that done,” the first lady told “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts in an exclusive television interview. “We want our kids to face a different and more optimistic future in terms of their lifespan.”

The nation-wide campaign called “Let’s Move” calls for initiatives that target four key pillars: Getting parents more informed about nutrition and exercise, improving the quality of food in schools, making healthy foods more affordable and accessible for families and focusing on physical education.

This program hopes to teach children the importance of staying healthy so that they practice good habits by the time they reach their freshman year.

It’s hard to stay healthy while in college, but the university offers nutrition programs through the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and Nixson Hall to help students stay on track.


Nixson Hall offers students free nutrition counseling by registered dieticians that include meal planning, diet analysis and BMI measurements.

It’s important for students to take advantage of programs like these to get on track to a healthier, longer life.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.