Addendum to “The Effects of College on Weight: Examining the ‘Freshman 15’ Myth and Other Effects of College Over the Life Cycle”
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Two additional studies examining education and weight gain during a portion of the life cycle have recently been published. First, Zagorsky and Smith (2011) used data from the NLSY 1997 cohort to examine the effects of college attendance on weight gain for college students. They found that freshmen gain several pounds during their first year of college, but this is only about one-half pound more than similarly aged noncollege students gain. Second, Von Hippel and Lynch (2014) examined the causal effects of education on subsequent weight, measured at age 29. They also used data from the NLSY 1997 cohort data. These researchers found that education is significantly negatively associated with weight in young adulthood but that much of this association is due to the effects of selection: those less likely to be overweight are more likely to attend college.
- Zagorsky, J. L., & Smith, P. K. (2011). The freshman 15: A critical time for obesity intervention or media myth? Social Science Quarterly, 92, 1389–1407.Google Scholar