In 1998, Jared Fogle, a student at Indiana University, weighed 425 pounds (approximately 30 stone). He was, at the time, consuming around 10’000 calories each day, the amount recommended for five people. “I was barely functioning as a member of society, forget being able to act like a normal 20 year old”, Jared reflects. “I was even scheduling classes based on how short the walk would be. That’s when I knew I needed a change”.
His approach to making this change was one that many would consider unusual – he went out for some fast food! Seeing a sign in his local Subway shop promoting sandwiches with less than 6 grams of fat, Jared began eating exclusively from Subway twice a day for an entire year. Jared’s ‘Subway diet’ meant that he was now consuming around 1000 calories per day, a far cry from the fat laden diet that he was used to. This, combined with walking to University lectures, resulted in significant weight loss and his story changed his life forever.
A friend of Jared’s decided to write an article for the University’s student newspaper. The story, along with ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of Jared made the front page. “I thought that was as big as the story would ever get”, remarks Jared. Soon after, Men’s Health had bought the rights to the story and ran it nationally, and a Subway franchisee took the idea to Subway’s advertising agency. The next thing Jared knew he was off to Los Angeles to shoot a 30-second commercial.
By the year 2001, Jared, and his story, had become renowned across the US. Jared was now visiting Canada to spread the message, and was gradually becoming an inspiration to dieters worldwide. For the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Jared had been asked to carry the Olympic torch. After numerous ‘World Tours’ promoting the Subway brand, ambassadorial work with organisations such as the American Heart Foundation, and starting a charity against obesity, known as ‘The Jared Foundation’, Jared’s book, ‘Winning through Losing’, was published in 2006. He was now appearing all over US television, not only in Subway commercials, but on popular shows such as ‘Good Morning America’.
Since 2006, Jared has continued to contribute towards battling obesity, launching a ‘Fresh Fit’ campaign for Subway, meeting President George Bush in his penultimate year in office, and lobbying for healthier snacks in schools in Washington DC. Jared’s biggest Subway campaign, known as the ‘Tour de Pants’, celebrated a decade of Jared’s maintained weight loss. It featured Jared travelling around the US, showcasing his pair of 62 inch waist jeans, which he wore before he began his remarkable journey.
Jared is now worth an estimated $15 million, quite an incredible achievement for someone who, as much as it can be admired, lost a few pounds.