The term refers to the rapid weight gain students experience during their first year at a university. The most recent studies show this is caused by the over consumption of alcohol, buffet-style cafeterias and a lack of sleep (which causes leptin levels to drop and your metabolism to crash).
A study at Cornell University proved, on average, freshmen gain 4.2 pounds during the first 3 months of school. "Significant weight gain during the first semester of college is a real phenomenon, with breakfast and lunch at all-you-can-eat dining facilities accounting for 20 percent of the weight gain," said David A. Levitsky, professor of nutritional sciences and of psychology at Cornell. "The freshmen, on average, gained about 0.3 pound per week, which is almost 11 times more than the weekly weight gain expected in 17- and 18-year-olds and almost 20 times more than the average weight gain of an American adult."
We all are slightly embarrassed to admit to having such constant cravings but Ill be the first to admit that I have an undying love for carbs. Yes, we all know carbs are from Hell but thats why they are so good. Dieting in college is impossible so dont stress over it; everything in moderation I say. Life on your own means mommy isnt making your meals and you have to know how to eat healthy, which, lets be honest, is usually all the nasty tasting food, but as long as you try to exercise or use portion control you wont become a statistic.
So to answer the question of whether this is just a myth, all facts aside its easy to tell if you just look around you. OK, problem addressed; next up are the solutions. Try to exercise as frequently as possible. Avoid the high calorie and high carb foods available in the cafeterias or football games for example. Free pizza only means that much more work for you to keep the weight off . Try not to snack too late (if so make it a healthy one), and when it comes to drinking, don't over do it. Girls beer is a big no-no. Its so high in calories you might as well eat a candy bar. Basically, keep everything in moderation. There is no such thing as a diet in college, thats just not realistic. Eat healthy. You only have one body, don't abuse it or you'll lose it.