The Freshman 15

Partial Hospitalization Care

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Former Patient

Sudden College Student Weight Gain Often Attributed to Stress, Lack of Sleep, Late Nights, Frequent Snacking, Lack of Exercise and Alcohol Intake.

The Freshman 15 is for some an ugly term that means a college freshman has gained 15 pounds during his or her first few months at school. The freshman fifteen can be attributed to stress, lack of sleep, late nights, frequent snacking, lack of exercise and alcohol intake. It can happen to men and women, and for many isn’t considered a problem.

The Freshman 15 Can Often Turn into an Eating Disorder

For many college students, The Freshman 15 can turn into a life-and-death situation disguised as an eating disorder. On college campuses throughout the country, the sudden weight gain in a student’s first year can ultimately turn into an eating disorder.

“It’s a very challenging time for the colleges right now,” said Maggie Moran, Walden Behavioral Care’s vice president of marketing and contracting. Moran said students often feel the most stress at the beginning of a school year, especially when they are far from home or adjusting to a new schedule. Ann Robinson, a director in Walden’s eating disorder unit, said she is hoping to educate college students about Walden’s eating disorder programs.

“Eating disorders are a huge epidemic,” she said. “It’s a huge problem. We’re hoping to find out how we can be more helpful.” She said the first step is helping someone recognize they have a problem and getting them treatment before they are medically compromised. “This is not an easy disorder,” Robinson said. “It’s a long process that includes family integration.”

Moran said many eating disorder patients often tell her they had a difficult time finding treatment before coming to Walden. “We’re a valuable resource not only to the community, but for New England,” she said. Moran said patients have come from as far away as California. “In general, when somebody is in danger, they may need an in-patient stay,”

Walden Behavioral Care has an eating disorder clinic with a 22-bed inpatient unit and a residential program in Waltham, MA.  Additionally, Walden provides partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs in Waltham, Braintree, Worcester, and Northampton, MA; and, South Windsor Connecticut. Walden’s eating disorder clinics treat men and women ages 12 and older, and has recently begun reaching out to colleges and universities throughout New England.