Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Education


Exercise Science - PrePhysical Therapy

Research Sponsor

Judith Juvancic-Heltzel

First Reader

Laura Richardson

Second Reader

Melissa Smith


Students entering their freshmen year of college face a variety of lifestyle changes. These changes often include increased caloric consumption, increased levels of stress, decreased physical activity, and increased alcohol consumption. Because of these lifestyle changes, it is commonly asserted that freshman gain weight throughout their first year in college. A common expression used to describe this weight gain is the “Freshman 15,” which asserts that the average student gains 15 pounds during their freshman year. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to gather data regarding the on-campus freshmen’s diet and exercise habits. The data gathered was used to analyze whether a student’s location on-campus at The University of Akron correlates with their diet and exercise habits and weight gain during freshman year. METHODS: A survey was provided via email to freshman students who are currently living on campus. RESULTS: Average weight change was 5.13 pounds, including freshman who did not gain weight or who lost weight. Amongst freshman who gained weight, average weight gain was 9.39 pounds. Residence hall location did not significantly affect weight gain (p = 0.056). Residence hall location significantly affects the most often frequented dining location (p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: Residence hall location appears to affect freshman diet habits, but there is not strong enough evidence to show that it influences weight gain.