This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Freshman Versus Sophomore Year Changes in Body Weight and Composition




Newton, Anna

Type of Degree



Nutrition and Food Science


Objective: Differences in weight, body mass index (BMI), percent and absolute body fat and fat free mass, and waist circumference were investigated in males and females during the freshman and sophomore college years. Methods: Changes in height, weight, BMI, body composition (using bioelectrical impedance), and waist circumference (via body scans) were assessed over the freshman and sophomore years among 240 college students. Results: Weight (2.5 and 1.7 lbs) and BMI gains (0.3 and 0.3 kg/m2) did not significantly differ between the freshman and sophomore years, respectively. 69% of participants gained weight, which averaged 8.4 lbs. Significantly more percent body fat and fat mass were gained during the freshman (1.9% and 3.3 lbs, respectively) than the sophomore year (0.0% and 0.6 lbs, respectively). Females lost significantly more fat free mass during the freshman (-0.8 lbs) than the sophomore year (1.0 lbs). Changes in waist circumference and weight were significantly correlated. Increases the percentages of participants classified as overweight and with unhealthy body fat amounts and waist circumferences were observed. Conclusions: The freshman year is associated with weight gain and unhealthy body composition changes, and, while the sophomore year also is characterized by weight gain, overall healthier body composition changes were observed.