If the love-at-first-swipe romance that ignited last year between first-year students and their favorite dining hall has the potential to take the turn from the freshman 15 to the sophomore 15, not all second-year students are worried.
Emmy Schwarz, a second-year in biology, said she’s not nervous about her on-campus diet because this year she knows there are healthy options.
Both Schwarz and Gina Forster, an assistant nutrition director for University Dining, feel that knowing the locations of their favorite dining hall may give second-years the advantage over their younger counterparts.
“The first few weeks I think that especially freshmen are just kind of exploring because they’re on their own, so it’s more tempting to try those (unhealthy) options,” said Forster. “A lot of (first-year students) did not get to make their own choices when they were eating at home, so now they can eat what they want.”
Fifteen pounds might be a bit of an exaggeration for the sake of alliteration, but research has repeatedly backed up the weight-gain phenomenon. A meta-analysis comparing 32 studies in six databases performed by researchers at Oxford University from 1980 to 2014 found that 60.9 percent of freshmen gained an average of 7.5 pounds their first year.
But research indicates that this phenomenon does not carry over into the second year. A study performed by scientific publisher BioMed Central found that second-year students living on campus did not experience increases in body weight throughout the year. The study found a significant decrease in body fat and an increase in fat-free mass, a category that encompasses muscle, bone and connective tissues.
Still, some on-campus students are worried about not having the luxury of a kitchen.
“This year I am concerned –– and I know a lot of my sophomore friends –– that we could gain more weight due to the amount of the unhealthy food that is available all the time,” said Katelyn Craft, a second-year in human resources.
Dave Isaacs, spokesman for Student Life said those who enjoy healthy food can easily find something at any on-campus dining location.
“One of the great strengths (of the dining facilities) is that there are healthy options,” Isaacs said. “Once (a student) has committed to being healthy, (he or she) can find an option.”
Forster also stressed that the addition of nutrition facts to the dining hall menus in the OSU app can also help students choose wisely.
“Maybe take a little bit of time to look at those menus … to plan out their meals for the day,” Forster said.
Students also have technology to aid their quest for healthy eating.
“You can easily figure out where all the health foods are, especially with the app,” said Carly Brodax, a second-year in exploration. “After class I’m so hungry, so it tells me where the nearest dining hall food is.”