The popular belief that new college students are at risk of gaining 15 pounds—the “freshman 15”—is an exaggeration, according to a new report.

A study of freshmen at Auburn University, in Alabama, found that males gained an average of 5.4 pounds in their first year and that women gained an average of 3.2 pounds.

Though the numbers suggest that weight gain in the first year of college might not be as large as expected, they do show that young adults leaving home for the first time often gain weight—largely because it may be one of their first chances to create their own diets without the watchful eye of Mom or Dad.

Nutrition experts say college students need interventions to encourage healthy eating. Remind your kids, for instance, of the risks of “all you can eat” style cafeteria meals. To help them learn more about constructing healthy meals on their own, send them these 10 healthy eating tips for college students.