Even Small Weight Gains Raise Blood Pressure.

Staying active and healthy in college is important; even small weight gains can translate to increases in blood pressure and complications down the road.

It’s back-to-school time! And with 150 million individuals heading to university around the world, the dreaded “freshman 15” will be on many minds. According to research and contrary to popular belief, most university students don’t actually gain 15 pounds their first year. The real number is closer to 5 pounds.

Still, as reported by a new University of Illinois study, even small annual weight gains can raise blood pressure in young folks – and the effect is even worse for young women. For the study, data was collected from 795 students ages 18 – 20 over the course of one year.

According to Margarita Teran-Garcia, a professor at the university:

In our study, a small weight gain was enough to raise a college student’s systolic blood pressure by 3 to 5 points. If young people continue to gain 1.5 pounds a year and think it doesn’t matter, they’re misleading themselves and increasing their risk for heart disease.

But there’s some good news. The reverse was also true. In other words, even small reductions in body weight were associated with improved blood pressure. And over time, those small changes add up.

If you’re a university student in need of some guidance, check out my 11 tips to avoid the freshman 15.

And remember, by making simple and small changes to your diet and activity level, you’re able to vastly improve your health and prevent larger complications down the road.

About Davey Wavey

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  1. John Middleton-Coulter says:

    I wonder how this applies to me. Since last November I’ve been gymming furiously with an amazing trainer and in almost 11 months I’ve managed to transform my 5’9″ formerly twinky frame of 57kg (125lbs) to a muscular 78-79kg (173lbs). My body fat is up just slightly but the gains have been almost all lean thanks to having zero muscle to begin with. I’ve used protein to get me here and in the last month finally started using creatine but apart from that it’s all be due to hard work and diet but the whole time I have wondered given how dramatic the changes have been to my body in the last year what changes might have been happening on the inside. I think this post is my cue to get my blood pressure checked.