Sunday, April 29, 2012

Introduction, and the infamous freshman 15

First, I would like to welcome you to my blog with a short introduction. My name is Steven Yoon, a communication major at UCSD and the theme of my blog will revolve around college nutrition and cuisine.  Over the past couple years living away from home, I have met many students of all ages and the topic of nutrition will usually come up in our conversation. Whether they are advocates of the gym and/or healthy eating, or your typical lazy instant-noodle soup devouring fiend, food and nutrition is something all of us have an intimate relationship with. I for one love to cook at home and do not mind the constant trip to the supermarket to stock my fridge and cabinets with the proponents to my own culinary epiphany.  Some students such as my roommates have a different approach. They rarely eat at home, and blame their inability to cook the bane to their decision to eat out almost every day.
Each week I will be discussing a special topic with usually an interview, video blog or analysis of a pertinent topic.  Towards the end of the quarter, I will hope to figure out some questions I have had regarding meal and nutrition choices for fellow students of UCSD. I will also be delving into topics of budgeting and reasons behind the nutritional choices some students make.

This week's topic deals with the infamous term "Freshman 15" coined by the college community for incoming freshman's who evidently pack on some serious pounds their first year in college. In a study done by Jay Zagorsky at the Ohio State University's Center for Human Resource Research, reveals college has nothing to do with the infamous weight gain.

"The 'freshman 15' is a media myth," 

"Most students don't gain large amounts of weight. And it is not college that leads to weight gain -- it is becoming a young adult."

This poses interesting ideas about the correlation between weight gain and college for incoming freshmen.  Zagorsky continues by raising the problem of female weight gain especially since it could become a psychological problem leading to anorexia or social disassociation.  To top it off, most students do not even gain fifteen pounds collectively throughout their college career.
Many of us could relate when talking about our weight whether it is over or under our ideal "magic number". Some people are content with their weight and by all means, more power to them. The marginal weight gain for students in the early stage of college isn't attributed to the "college life" per se, but as Zagorsky stated, it is the transition from teenager to young adult. This steady increase in weight however, should not be taken so lightly. Habits developed in this period in someone's life often can help structure an individual's lifestyle later on in their life. Making the healthy lifestyle choice now could make the worlds difference in someone's life later on.
The social implications in weight gain is a sensitive subject, especially for female students. Ideal female representations shown in reality television shows and alike have attributed to corrupting what an "ideal" woman should look like.  The freshman fifteen connotes this ideal representation which give birth to stigmas associated with superficial trends.