While scanning “The Situationist” blog, I came across a very interesting article that pertained to the College Life. Most people who discuss the adjustment period of high school to college usually adress the concern for workloads and time management. This article diverges from the common concern, and moves more towards the eating issue of freshman college students. It addresses the “Freshman 15″ phenomenon. The excerpt below really appealed to me…
People’s snacking habits depend, therefore, on the society in which they live and on their schedule. Because students are generally busy with classes, homework, errands, and extracurricular activities, they tend to eat infrequently and have large meals at the buffet-style dining halls.
There is an additional evolutionary basis to eating in groups. Prof. Karanek conducted a study with foods that smelled different. In her experiment, a rat ate a food that smelled like licorice or basil, while another rat stood watching. The rat that saw another rat eating licorice was more likely to eat licorice. Likewise, the rat that saw another rat eating basil was more likely to eat basil. Through observation, the rats learned something about each food and found out whether it was safe to ingest.
I found this quote to be very interesting because it implies that not only is it unhealthy that students eat infrequently, but it also can be very harmful to eat in groups. The article suggests that when someone sees a friend eating a certain type of food, then they are more likely to go get the same food. I was very surprised to see that peer pressure actually has an effect on eating. I can relate to the authors argument of how eating large quantities in buffet style cafeterias is detrimental to one’s eating habits. I often find myself swamped with work throughout the day and therefore, I might skip a meal or two. But then I’ll make up for it by eating a very large dinner and then maybe a snack later at night. Apparently this is not to healthy for you. So after reading this article I will probably do everything in my will to change my eating habits. I’m not trying to be the next victim of the “Freshman 15″ disease.
Also, I feel it is necessary to address the alcohol side of this phenomenon. Alot of the weight freshman gain has to do with the overexposure to alcohol. Not only does beer have tons of calories, but when people drink, they tend to get the late night munchies. This usually leads to the person overeating on partying nights; further contributing to their increase in weight. So after reading this article I will probably do everything in my own will to change my eating habits. Afterall, I’m not trying to be the next victim of the “Freshman 15″ disease.