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An Unlikely Chapter in the Story of Fast Food

Ranked third in the nation in terms of childhood obesity in 2001, Indiana has launched its own national spokesperson for healthy living.

The Subway restaurant on Woodlawn Avenue in Bloomington, Indiana.

Photo: Martinanguiano

The Subway restaurant on Woodlawn Avenue in Bloomington, Indiana.

After toasts and Auld Lang Syne, many folks get hopeful about the prospect of realizing some long-held goals in the New Year. Many of us make a resolution to lose weight. In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama chose to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity with her Let’s Move campaign. Ranked third in the nation in terms of childhood obesity in 2001, Indiana has launched another national spokesperson for healthy living.

A freshman on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus in 1998, Jared Fogle weighed 425 pounds. Having struggled with his weight since age 8, Fogle could barely pursue everyday activities. Prompted by his family’s concern, Fogle began walking to classes rather than riding the bus and eating low-fat sandwiches at a local Subway restaurant. A year into his new regimen, Fogle had lost 235 pounds.

Profiled in the Indiana Daily Student, Fogle’s story was picked up by Men’s Health magazine. Confirming Fogle’s claim that he had eaten twice at day at the Subway at the corner of Atwater and Woodlawn, the fast-food chain began a regional ad campaign featuring Fogle’s story. First aired January 1st, 2000, the spot generated national media attention.

In 2004 Fogel started The Jared Foundation to raise awareness of childhood obesity. In 2005, nearly 12% of children in Indiana were overweight.

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