University of Guelph professors Alison Duncan and Janis Randall Simpson conducted a study of first-year female students that suggested that female students may gain only five pounds, and not fifteen. Duncan and Simpson have subsequently began a study of first-year male students to see if the same weight-gain pattern holds true for them; the results came back that men gain more poundage than women (6.6 lbs compared to 5), but less than the oft-cited Freshman fifteen.
However, despite some disagreement that the number is that high, there is some evidence that this term used to be "Freshman 10", and the increase in the number reflects the increase in the weight gained in the first year, Also Freshman 15 has alliteration and thus it sounds nicer, though it's conceivable that the change has not been brought about by extra weight but rather by a growing preoccupation with weight and the desire (especially in women) to attribute what is perceived as excess weight to some unavoidable cause.
AVOIDING THE FRESHMAN 15 A LITTLE HOMEWORK CAN HELP FIRST-YEAR COLLEGE STUDENTS WARD OFF THE EXTRA WEIGHT.(DAYBREAK)
Aug 26, 2002; Byline: Jaymi Freiden Knight Ridder Newspapers When Russ Elmore left for college last year, everyone warned him about the...