Public Affairs

Beating the Freshman Fifteen

June 23, 2011
By Stephanie Thara

Fact: More than one-third, 34 percent (72.5 million people), of American adults are overweight.*

Fact: In 2009, about 2.4 million more adults were obese than in 2007.*

Fiction: CSU campuses contribute to America’s unhealthy weight habits by not offering healthier food options.

With celebrity concepts to prevent obesity in America, such as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and chef Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, society has revitalized its focus on eating healthy. In the past, fast food was the typical route when hiring vendors or stocking food on campus. Beating the Freshman FifteenCSU campuses are now offering healthier food selections for students in order to promote wellness.

  • San Francisco State University’s dining centers have developed Balanced U, a program to educate students, faculty and staff about finding balance in food choices.
  • Chico State’s Associated Students’ Food Services offers an organic salad bar and several vegan options. The College of Agriculture's Organic Vegetable Project works with AS Food Services to determine the types of vegetables that will be in demand each season and then grows these vegetables at the University Farm. 
  • Last year, the Resolution Advocating for Healthier Food Options at Cal State Long Beach passed; the university is now encouraging current and future food vendors to implement healthier food choices on their menus, as well as supplying calorie and nutritional information on food packages. 

By offering healthy alternatives to high-caloric foods, the CSU is taking steps toward beating the “Freshman 15” myth, which states that students entering college gain a hefty amount of weight due to bad eating habits from poor food selection on campus. 

*Statistics gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.