Freshman Fifteen No More

It may be too soon to call it a trend but this fall one college will require freshman students to take a fitness test which includes a body mass index assessment, push-ups, sit-ups and an interval running test.

Coker College in South Carolina has determined that helping their students be both physically and financially fit needs to be part of the curriculum.  South Carolina, recently promoted to number eight on the top ten list of fattest states, decided the college would become part of the solution to the state’s obesity problem.

Students at Coker will be learning about nutrition, have the opportunity to attend Zumba and kickboxing classes and have access to dieticians.  The menu at the dorms have undergone a makeover and students will be required to participate in a number of fitness activities. This is all part of the new COBRAFIT wellness program for students.

This isn’t the first college to embrace ‘change’ for students.  Lincoln College in Pennsylvania actually went so far as to require that their students with a BMI of 30 or over take a mandatory class that promoted exercise, nutrition and education on the health risks associated with obesity.

Freshmen typically gain weight once they leave home and go away to college.  Fast food, late nights, and the end of participation in school sports programs all contribute to the weight gain.  What’s wrong with the college helping new students combat the ever-so-common 15 pound weight gain that comes during the first year?

Coker College is getting some push-back from student, parents and members of the community.

Do you think the college is stepping outside of their role as an educator?  Is this an infringement of student’s right?  Or, do you congratulate the college for being courageous enough to tackle the problem of obesity in the state of South Carolina?

Drop a comment in the box below and give me your views!


  1. Kaitlyn Stefaniak says:

    I agree with the university wanting to do this because obesity is so prevalent in our society. I agree that the not being as active and eating differently once moving out of your parents house and going to college does have an affect on your weight gain but I think it also contributes to the fact that teenager’s bodies are still maturing into adult bodies. Having the exact same weight after high school is not going to gaurentee you have the same body, because our bodies mature and change as we grow and I don’t think the age 18 means the body is done growing, like studies have shown before. I think another huge thing is the idea of fast food and how fattening yet cheap things can be. People need to realize how actually tasty veggies can be when they are cooked or with a yummy dip.