Fighting ‘Freshman 15’: Diet analysis looks at eating

Charlotte Muller

Stress. Alcohol. Meal plans. Lack of exercise.

These are just a few reasons Kent State students gave for the “Freshman 15.”

Many college students gain weight during their freshman year in college, due to newfound freedom, around-the-clock unhealthy food choices, excessive alcohol intake, inconsistent meal schedules, emotional eating and lack of exercise.

Brian Langemo, senior management and information systems major, said rather than the Freshman 15, he has gained weight each year.

“Away from home, it’s inevitable to put on some pounds,” he said. “There are so many temptations.”

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center offers diet analyses that can help students make healthier food choices and improve their diets.

Through a one- or three-day analysis, individuals are given an evaluation of their diet, specific to their lifestyle and eating habits.

Melissa Paskey, senior integrated life sciences major, has worked in the Fitness Suite of the rec center for two years.

“The programs basically give the client diet suggestions based on better choices in nutrition,” Paskey said.

She said for one or three days, individuals write down everything they eat — including small snacks.

In addition to food, this food diary records the amount of food taken in, how it was cooked, the time spent eating, the location of eating, hunger level from zero to five, activity while eating and emotional state.

“The 24-hour or 72-hour diet recall will be entered into a specialized software program by a nutritionist,” Paskey said.

A dietitian discusses test results with clients in individual meetings.

Paskey said the evaluation requires the client to fill out questions about general nutrition, exercise regimen, foods typically eaten and alcohol intake. This helps the staff decide how to advise clients.

“All improvement is based on the lifestyle the person already lives,” Paskey said. “There’s never a 180-degree turn around.”

For more information, contact the Fitness Suite at (330) 672-0485 or visit

Contact general assignment reporter Charlotte Muller at [email protected].