According to a newly released study students can look forward to more than just gaining knowledge when they go to college; they will also it seems, gain as much as 15 pounds or more in that first semester.
The study by researchers from Brown University's medical school, looked at 907 students at a large public university in the Midwest during their freshman year and found that both males and females gained an average of 7.8 pounds, most of it in the first semester.
Over a third of the students gained 10 pounds or more and nearly a fifth gained 15 pounds or more.
The study also found that the students did not lose the weight and continued to gain and by the end of their sophomore year, men were on average 9.5 pounds heavier than when they began college and females were 9.2 pounds heavier.
According to the study just over 20 percent were classified as overweight or obese at the start of college and 35 percent were considered overweight or obese at the end of the sophomore year.
The researchers lay the blame on academic stress, lack of direct family support, alcohol and the too easy availability of fatty food, as the main causes for the weight gain.
Another study of 383 students at a private university in the Northeast, also showed that during their freshman year, males gained an average of 5.6 pounds while females gained 3.6 pounds.
The studies also found that males gain more weight than females and doctors have voiced their concern that the gradual weight gain is a pattern that could continue after college and put students at risk of obesity.
The studies were sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and presented at the annual meeting of The Obesity Society in Boston.