If your child is headed off to college for the first year this fall, we know anxiety is running high. It’s all about new friends, new environment and a new way of life. That also includes eating.

Calories are everywhere, and they can pack on pounds. Yep, we’re talking about the “Freshman 15.”

First off, research has shown that the “Freshman 15” is more of a myth.

A study published in the Social Science Quarterly found that freshmen on average gain about 2.5 to 3.5 pounds in their first year. The problem is statistics also show that’s usually the beginning of a progressive weight gain that stays with students through their college years and beyond.

So how do you keep weight at bay?

Nutritionists say be prepared. Stock your room or apartment with healthy snacks. Avoid chips and cookies and substitute them with apples, peanuts and carrots. And try not to eat pizza every night.

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