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Doctor urges college students to avoid 'freshman 15'

A lot of college freshmen are moving out of the house and on to campus this week.

One of the first things they may gain from the experience is the "freshman 15."

Fifteen pounds, that is.

That's because, for the first time, they're on their own.

"If you want to eat one meal a day or 10 meals a day, that's how you do it," said Dr. Don Buckland of U.S. Healthworks in Phoenix. "Or if you want to eat only at midnight, that's how you do it. All of those things can really add on the pounds."

Buckland said there are several things they can do to avoid this. One is stocking the dorm room with fruit and other healthy things to eat, instead of going for the junk food. Reaching for a bag of potato chips to deal with the stress of an upcoming test is a bad idea. Stress could be better dealt with through mental breaks or exercise, he said.

Breakfast is important, too.

"Everyone who is overweight skips breakfast, and it just makes them more overweight," Buckland said. "The reason is that you tend to eat more to make up for skipping breakfast."

He said to limit the number of soft drinks, which can run as high as 200 calories apiece. As a substitute, Buckland offered his favorite drink recipe.

"I just pour about an inch of orange juice into a glass of ice water," he said. "That gives some taste, gives some electrolytes, it gives some fluids, has almost zero calories, and it also costs less!"

The doctor also suggests avoiding the late night pizza or so called "fourth meal" at a favorite fast food restaurant.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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