Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1048994

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 21, 2014

Nutrition know-how helps prevent ‘Freshmen 15’

Aug 28, 2013

HOUSTON, Texas — Brushing up on nutrition basics can help college-bound freshmen avoid extra pounds while pursuing their higher education.

College students are often under stress and respond by eating, said Dr. Karen Cullen, a behavioral nutrition researcher at the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. What’s more, a smorgasbord of foods is available almost around the clock.

To help freshmen get a healthy start on the academic year, Cullen offers these tips:

• Deal with stress in a positive manner, like playing or listening to music or exercising.

• Keep fat-calories in check by choosing low-fat cafeteria fare like grilled or baked fish and fruits and vegetables. Limit high-fat and high-sugar treats to once a day.

• Choose beverages wisely. Good daily choices include fat-free milk, a glass or two of fruit juice and plenty of water.

• Keep dorm-room snacks healthy.

• Make time to be physically active every day

• Don't skip meals, especially breakfast. Meal-skippers rarely reduce their actual caloric tally, and often shortchange themselves nutritionally.

If weight gain begins to exceed 3 to 5 pounds, consider starting a food diary and physical activity diary to help identify problems. Many campus health centers have nutrition professionals who can help students struggling with weight problems, Cullen noted.

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