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Jared Fogle

Jared FogleAKA Jared S. Fogle

Born: 1-Dec-1977
Birthplace: Indianapolis, IN

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Meme

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Lost 245 lbs eating only fast food

Jared Fogle's story is bizarre but all-American, and all true. He developed a weight problem in adolescence, and as a young man he wore pants with 60-inch waistlines and weighed 425 pounds. His father is a physician, so he often heard about the unhealthy risks of his morbid obesity. "Dead by 40" was his father's sad prognosis. Fogle had tried all the popular weight-loss programs, and failed.

He was attending Indiana University, living in an apartment building with a Subway sandwich shop at the front door, and he ate lunch and dinner there almost daily. Usually he had a steak sandwich, or two, with extra cheese. When the chain adopted its "7 for 6" ad campaign -- seven sandwiches, each with less than six grams of fat -- Fogle decided it would be easy to make their ad campaign his 'diet'.

The Jared Fogle diet: Coffee for breakfast. For lunch, a six-inch turkey sub with a small bag of Baked Lay's chips and a Diet Coke. For dinner, a foot-long veggie sub and a Diet Coke. On the sandwiches, no cheese, no mayonnaise, but plenty of lettuce, green peppers, banana peppers and pickles, and a dab of mustard. No snacks, and no cheating. Exercise was not part of Fogle's plan, but after a few months he noticed he had more energy, and started walking to class. Toward the end of his diet was walking about a mile and a half daily.

After about 700 sub sandwiches in a little less than a year, he had lost 245 pounds. As classmates complimented him on his new look, he became the focus of an article in the campus newspaper, and someone -- was it Fogle? -- sent the clipping to Subway's headquarters.

Of course, everyone in the fast food industry knows -- or "knew" -- that customers were not interested in healthy food, so Subway's national office saw Fogle as an oddity, not an opportunity. The company's marketing staff had not even been responsible for the "7 for 6" ad campaign -- those ads were created by a local franchise operator in Houston, and the chain only took the campaign national after sales at that Houston franchise jumped noticeably. Similarly, it was only after a Chicago franchisee read about Fogle's weight loss in Men's Health magazine, and created a local ad that dramatically increased that store's sales, that Subway hired Fogle for his first national ads in 2000. When the commercials began running, sales jumped by about 20% almost immediately. After a few years of "Jared the Subway Guy" commercials, Subway's research showed that audiences were growing weary of Fogle, and they began phasing him out of their ads. Sales went down, and Fogle came back.

What is the Fogle allure? He is not as handsome as most celebrity spokesmen, and he could stand to lose a few more pounds, but he is for real. It is easy to make jokes about his commercials, but impossible to be cynical after meeting him. Whenever he disappears from the television, vicious rumors suggest that he has gained back all his lost weight and perhaps more, but the photos debunk the lie. He says he knows his time in the spotlight will come to an end eventually, but insists he will never be fat again.

He is the author of Jared, the Subway Guy: Winning Through Losing: 13 Lessons for Turning Your Life Around, and still jets around the country, representing Subway as the chain opens new sandwich shops or making personal appearances as a motivational speaker. He still eats at Subway several times a week, but not daily, still watches his calories and drinks diet soda, and a regular walking regimen helps keep him cuddly if not quite thin.

Father: Norman Fogle (physician)
Mother: Adrienne (teacher)
Wife: Elizabeth Christie (pediatric nurse, m. 14-Oct-2001, div. 18-Oct-2007)
Girlfriend: Katie McLaughlin (teacher, m. 2010)

    High School: North Central High School, Indianapolis, IN (1995)
    University: BS Management and International Business, Indiana University Bloomington (2000)

    Endorsement of Subway
    American Heart Association
    Risk Factors: Obesity, Sleep Apnea

    Jack and Jill (11-Nov-2011) · Himself
    Super Size Me (17-Jan-2004) · Himself

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