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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Classes at Mississippi State University begin on Monday and many first- year students are looking forward to new experiences. But one thing they may not be excited about is picking up extra pounds.

Most freshmen expect to gain knowledge and new friends, but gaining *weight* is usually not what  they’re looking for in the college experience.

“I gained 20 because it’s easy access to food. Back at home, we don’t eat out everyday. We eat home cooked meals everyday so but it’s easy access to fast foods,” says MSU Student, Zachary Peterson.

Some students say they know all about the Freshman 15 but they have a plan to fight weight gain.

“I plan on going to the Sanderson Center to the gym to work out to not gain the weight, keep the weight off,” says Aleah Gray, a freshman at MSU.

Others say they’re not worried at all.

“No, I’m not and neither are my boys here. I’m gonna tell you why. Some guys, we just accept it,” says Mead Geary, a freshman.

“I’m an athlete. I workout every day so it’s not really a concern,” says C.J. Leland, a freshman.

My freshman year, I was a commuter and I stayed at home. So I had pretty much the same schedule. This year is my first year living on my own so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen,” says Robert O’Ryan, a 3rd year student .

But is it really true that college freshman gain 15 pounds?

“The good news is that Freshman 15 is actually a myth. Research studies that have been done, actually in 2011, the Social Science Quarterly came out with, that it’s not necessarily 15 lbs but more like 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 lbs that students typically gain on average during a year of school,” says Mandy Conrad, a Registered Dietician at MSU.

So according to researchers, there’s much ado about nothing when it comes to gaining substantial weight during freshman year. But Conrad says it’s always good to stay active.

“You’re sitting, studying a lot so get moving. Find friends to go walking go to the Sanderson Center, go to the gym that you have available wherever you are but don’t forget to stay active,” says Conrad.

Conrad also suggested that having healthy snacks and eating regularly will help curb binge eating while in school.

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