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Get The Skinny On Avoiding The Freshman 15

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RALEIGH — Classes aside, for college freshmen, school usually means freedom, fun and, unfortunately, the Freshman 15. WRAL's Health Team heads to the dorms for a look as the freshman phenomenon.

Ashley Tucker and Lisa Todaro have been roommates at N.C. State for two weeks. Dorm life is one of the things college freshmen look forward to. Of course, no one wants the dreaded Freshman 15!

"Freshmen come in. They're eating a lot and not exercising and going out too much and supposedly gain at least 15 pounds," Tucker says.

Everywhere you turn on and around campus lurks the lure of high-calorie high-fat foods. It is fast food -- 24 hours a day. Terri Brownlee of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center says the key is making smart choices.

"I think again it's just a matter of awareness and the amount they're having," she says. "You can choose for smaller-size burgers and fries instead of value meals."

Tucker and Todaro say they have enough food under their beds to last all semester. They have granola bars, fruit and, of course ramen noodles, stocked in their dorm room.

"If you have a refrigerator, you'll keep some fresh fruit and yogurt or maybe some cereal and milk," Brownlee says.

Staying active also goes a long way in helping stay one step ahead of the Freshman 15. Another pitfall for many college students is alcohol. The empty calories add up really quickly.

WRAL's Health Team will continue to follow Ashley and Lisa and check in with them later this school year to see how they are doing.

Health Team Photographer:

Ken Bodine


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