The same experiences that make college exciting are the same things that can make it stressful, too. Here are some emotional and social reasons why freshmen are prone to weight gain.
Many people eat when they are under stress. And freshman year can be a pretty stressful time. The college environment is usually much different from high school. So simply changing from one environment to another can be very hard.
Plus, most teens move out of their parents' home for the first time in freshman year. Whether they're moving across the country or just across town, they're meeting a whole new set of peers and experiences. With the stress of all this change, many students turn to food for comfort.
Students also use food to socialize. Pizza parties, midnight raids on vending machines, and other food-related activities are easy ways to find a sense of community and belonging with other students. Unfortunately, this type of social eating is usually in addition to meals, which can add on pounds quickly.
Another important factor? The campus cafeteria. Many freshman have meal plans that typically offer an unlimited buffet of food ... including desserts. This makes it all to easy to overeat.