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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    You’re not fat enough

    Last weekend, researchers from Brown University reported to the Obesity Society (currently accepting applications) in Boston that college students do actually experience substantial weight gain during at least their first two years on campus. However, studies found that first-year students aren’t quite putting on the fabled “”Freshman 15″” – a fact that couldn’t be more disappointing.

    Brown researcher Elizabeth Lloyd-Richardson, who led two studies at unidentified colleges in the Midwest and Northeast, reported that on average, male students in the first year are putting on anywhere from 5.5 to 8 pounds. Eight pounds? That’s barely half of what we expect from freshmen.

    In fact, in the Northeast study, the data suggests that only approximately 6 percent of freshmen put on 15 pounds. In the Midwest, 17 percent. Nice improvement. But that’s still fewer than one in five students. The studies say more than that fat people conglomerate in the Midwest. They say that freshmen all over the country are getting lazy and not living up to the 15-pound legacy of their forefathers.

    Freshmen: There exists a proud heritage of coming to college and putting on substantial weight. You are expected to go home for Thanksgiving in a month and have relatives tell you that you look “”healthy”” while your little brother squeezes your face fat and your mom tells you there’s just more of you to love.

    College is more than an educational setting. It is an institution designed to allow you to grow – out as well as up. Sure, in middle school you may have been teased for being a little pudgy. And after college you might be ridiculed or discriminated against for the extra pounds.

    But in college? In college you have the opportunity to eat pizza, drink high-calorie beer and blame your lack of exercise on multiple term papers and a hangover without ever falling outside the norm.

    Don’t believe it? Check out the next pool party your fraternity has. Nobody cares who is thinnest. Chest size is really all anyone cares about – and I’m just talking about the dudes. A couple of push-ups every morning will ensure that your pecs come farther out from your body than your stomach – and that’s all it takes to fit in.

    And where else is level of obesity a direct correlation of popularity? Being 5-foot-10, 150 pounds may say “”I eat healthy, exercise regularly and generally take good care of myself.”” But being 5-foot-10, 250 pounds says, “”It takes five more people to lift me for a keg-stand.”” That’s five more friends in the bank.

    Plus, for the guys out there: The ladies love the extra you. A girl is not going to want to hang out with someone she can drink under the table. And there is no way she is going home with you if you start singing unintelligible German karaoke to “”99 Luftballons”” and then pass out in her best friend’s cleavage midway into your second Long Island. Nope, the extra cushioning you ought to be developing will be sure to please the fairer sex.

    But it is understandable that freshmen are getting less fat over the course of their first year. With all the shifts towards “”healthier”” lifestyles, it is sometimes difficult to find enjoyable ways to put on the weight. Now that the Nathan’s hotdog stand nixed two-for-Tuesdays, it puts more of a strain on thin college wallets to put back a couple of dogs between classes.

    But there are still options out there. Next time you grab a slice from Domino’s, ask the guy behind the counter if he wouldn’t mind draining the excess grease from old pizza onto your plate. Or better, just ask everyone else in line if they wouldn’t mind helping you out with their grease. After all, you are a freshman, and they will be more than happy to help you get to that goal of 15 you’ve been dreaming about.

    Also, don’t hesitate to keep consuming the inexpensive light beer. Frat guys know what’s up. Those parties aren’t full of cheap beer because that’s all they can afford. It’s because those beers often have actually more calories in them then the supposedly fatty beers like Guinness. And that’s the double truth, Ruth.

    Now, freshmen, you may be concerned. First, you took Nutrition, Food and You and are perfectly aware that unhealthy diet and mismanagement of weight can ultimately lead to diabetes – and that scares you, because diabetes is scary. Second, you wonder if you will be able to make it to 15 and live up to the high expectations that this institution and those who have come before you have set for you.

    But there is no room for excuses. There is a pill for diabetes now, so no longer can you let the threat of disease and death stand in your way.

    And those who have come before you know that with hard work, dedication and the decrease in discrimination about what you won’t put in your body that only comes with time, you will reach that goal of becoming a 15-pound-heavier freshman. And when that day comes, you will be proud of who you are and the overweight fat guy you have ballooned into.

    Stan Molever is a senior majoring in philosophy. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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