Battushig Myanganbayar, a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from Mongolia, asks me, "Have you ever heard of the 'Freshman 15'?" He's referring to the storied 15 pounds students often gain in their first year of college. I tell him I have heard of it, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

We are in Flour, a stylish bakery in Central Square in Cambridge, Mass., drinking tea (his jasmine, mine Darjeeling). "I am moving in the opposite direction," he says, grinning at his adjustment to the United States. Not only is he heeding his mother's warnings about pizza, but he is...

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