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Childhood obesity with Subway’s Jared!

Posted Mar 05 2009 4:30am

jaredface On Monday I got a call from the famous Jared Fogle of Subway! I’m such a lucky blogger!  He has a new foundation forchildhood obesityand ablog.  I asked him some questions about his weight loss journey as well as advice.

You say your weight gain began when you turned 8 years old. What started it?

When I turned 8, I begged my parents for a Nintendo!  And unfortunately, I got one.  Once I got it, it consumed my life.  Everything else fell by the wayside.  What started out as 30 minutes, grew to one hour, then two, then all day long.  I spent all my time trying to beat the game to show my friends that I beat it.  I’d play with my friends at my house, then if we couldn’t play there anymore, we’d go to another friends house so we could keep playing the video game, then another friends house etc.   I didn’t understand the concept of moderation.  The weight began to escalate.  A lack of activity, led me to eat more and more food. The less   I moved, the more bored I got, the more junk food I ate.  The more I ate, the heavier I got which led me to not want to move even more. It was a cycle.

What do you think the solution for childhood obesity is?

There is not one solution to childhood obesity.  Education is critical and to begin early in life.  Kids need to learn the importance of making good decisions for their own bodies.  The word moderation has been lost in our society.  Video games and Internet are fine, when used in moderation and in proper amounts. It can’t be a free for all.  Rules and boundaries need to be set by parents.

What motivated you to lose weight?

When I was 20 years old, I was a 400 pound college student.  After years of denying that I had a problem, I was faced with health issues such as sleep apnea and edema.  Health problems that should not be present in a 20 year old.  It scared me enough that I wanted to change.

What is your advice to kids?  

I have to live with the regret of missing out on my childhood.  There were lots of things I missed in high school and college due to my size.  Kids can take control of their lives and make better choices than I did so they don’t have to miss out on all the fun.

Why did you choose Subway as the means to your weight loss?

I tried cooking my own meals, but at 400 lbs it was too difficult to navigate around the kitchen.  Bending down to get something was difficult, shopping for the food was hard, and I didn’t like cleaning up either.  There was a Subway right next door to where I lived. I went in and picked up their nutrition guide.  A light bulb went on and I realized I could eat there, no clean up, low calories when I chose the right foods, and easy to do.  The first 3 months, I lost 94 lbs.  It was very exciting and motivating. I worked with a physician during the entire process and he checked that everything was fine.

What advice do you have for parents of kids who are already heavy?

  1. Consult with a physician.. Identify any reasons for the weight gain.
  2. Love and support your kids for who they are.
  3. Lead by example
  4. Work on prevention and be proactive, rather than reactive.
  5. If you eat out, know you control the menu! Don’t let the menu control you. Ask for things prepared your way, or things that aren’t even on the menu. 

Subway is offering two readers of my blog a $15 gift card to Subway. Leave a comment to enter today only, and I’ll choose a winner tomorrow.

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