When Miranda Schlitt arrived at Rutgers as an undergraduate, she didn’t give much thought to the possibility of gaining the “freshman 15.” In fact, she was excited about the opportunity to sample the dining hall’s cultural cuisine. The Garrison, N.Y., native found herself gravitating toward the Asian dishes, particularly lo mein and samosas. Although Schlitt understood proper portion sizes and the importance of eating nutritionally balanced meals, these considerations took a backseat to taste, variety and a sense of adventure.
“Of course, I had heard about the freshman 15 in high school and at my Rutgers orientation, but the dining halls gave so many great options. I would try different dishes every day,” says Schlitt, now a fourth-year nutritional sciences student at Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. “That’s a big problem freshmen have. They should be learning what they should eat, rather than trying everything.”