Preventing weight gain in first year college students: an online intervention to prevent the "freshman fifteen"

Eat Behav. 2010 Jan;11(1):33-9. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2009.08.005. Epub 2009 Aug 29.


The transition to college has been identified as a critical period for increases in overweight status. Overweight college students are at-risk of becoming obese adults, and, thus prevention efforts targeting college age individuals are key to reducing adult obesity rates. The current study evaluated an Internet intervention with first year college students (N=170) randomly assigned to one of four treatment conditions: 1) no treatment, 2) 6-week online intervention 3) 6-week weight and caloric feedback only (via email), and 4) 6-week combined feedback and online intervention. The combined intervention group had lower BMIs at post-testing than the other three groups. This study demonstrated the effectiveness and feasibility of an online intervention to prevent weight gain among college students.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Overweight / prevention & control*
  • Patient Selection
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Universities
  • Weight Gain*
  • Young Adult