By Martinanguiano - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Shedding extra pounds can undoubtedly be a challenge for some, and that’s why people often resort to special diets and tricks.
Similar was the case with Jared Fogle, who garnered a lot of attention for losing weight by following a $5 subway diet. Unfortunately, that’s not the only reason behind his popularity. Keep reading to learn more about Jared Fogle's special diet, rise to fame, and then the unfortunate plot twist.
Photo by Anna Hanks on Wikimedia Commons
Jared Scott Fogle was born on August 23, 1977, in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has two siblings, and he was raised in a Jewish home. Jared graduated from North Central High School in 1995 and Indiana University Bloomington in 2000. After that, he worked at American Trans Air in their revenue management department.
Jared Fogle’s $5 Subway Diet and Rise to Fame.
Jared Fogle started getting attention while he was in university. As a student, he was obese, weighing as much as 425 pounds at one point. Twenty years old and struggling to walk across the campus, Jared decided to make some changes in his life. He switched to a diet consisting of Subway sandwiches and started exercising more.
All his hard work and determination finally paid off because, within a year, Jared ended up losing 245 pounds, which was more than half his weight. The students were impressed by Jared's remarkable transformation on campus. In April 1999, a friend and former dorm mate of Jared wrote about Jared Fogle’s incredible weight loss in the student newspaper, Indiana Daily Student.
Soon after, Men’s Health magazine picked up on the story and featured Jared and his Subway diet in one of their articles titled “Stupid Diets that Work!” in their November 1999 issue. In this article, Jared also revealed that one of the reasons he chose Subway was because it was close to his dorm. From that point onwards, Jared slowly became somewhat of a celebrity.
Spokesperson for Subway
A Subway franchisee from the Chicago area saw the article in Men’s Health magazine and took it to its advertising agency. Seeing Jared's story and popularity, they decided to use him in a regional ad campaign as a test.
The ad aired on January 1, 2000, and lucky for Jared, the campaign was a success. His story resonated with the people as he seemed like a real person, so his endorsement of the brand felt more honest. As a result, Jared Fogle became a spokesperson for Subway and started appearing in even more Subway commercials.
Photo by IlliniGradResearch on Wikimedia Commons
He made sponsored appearances in Subway stores across the country, hauling his 60-inch waist fat jeans. He talked about the benefits and importance of healthy eating and staying fit and active. Inspired by Jared, Subway started featuring other people in their ad campaigns who had lost weight after a Subway diet.
By 2013, Jared had starred in more than 300 Subway ads, along with all the sponsored appearances and talks. In 2002, Jared carried the Olympic torch through Indiana, and in 2003, he did the coin toss at the Fiesta Bowl. Jared played a big part in Subway’s rising popularity. In 2005, the company temporarily stopped featuring Jared, and their sales started to fall.
Afterward, Subway started partnering and promoting many health initiatives, such as the Random Acts for Fitness for Kids, and collaborated with the American Heart Association. In 2008, Subway sent Jared on a massive tour, "Tour de Pants," to celebrate him staying fit for the past ten years. During this tour, Jared announced that he would retire his famous pants at the tour's end.
In 2009, Jared appeared in WWE and then made another appearance in 2011. By 2010, Jared had put on some weight again, but Subway stuck with him, helping him lose those pounds and even run a marathon. Even though Jared’s appearance in Subway commercials had decreased by 2008, his initial popularity granted him lots of other opportunities as well.
By 2013, Jared Fogle had a net worth of $15 million. In 2015, to celebrate his 15 years of weight loss, Subway ran a commercial during the Super Bowl. Jared also had the chance to meet more than one U.S. president. Jared’s time with Subway came to an end in 2015 after suspicion arose regarding his involvement in the making and distribution of child pornography and a subsequent raid at his house.
Investigation and Arrest for Child Pornography
While they may have arrested him in 2015, the FBI was after Jared since 2007. He came under investigation after he made some lewd comments about middle school girls to a journalist. The journalist recorded their conversations and saved their messages, and took all this evidence to the FBI.
The FBI then asked the journalist to continue recording their conversations, and for the next four years, that is what the journalist did as part of the federal investigation. At that time, the FBI could not arrest or pursue a case against Jared as they didn’t have substantive evidence.
However, they got their chance in 2015 after the arrest of an executive from the Jared Foundation revealed Jared's involvement in child pornography. Jared started the Jared Foundation in 2004 as a nonprofit organization to raise awareness about childhood obesity. However, as one article reported, the funds from this foundation seldom went where the foundation meant them to go, with a significant portion going to the executives or staying unaccounted for in the books.
In April 2015, Russell Taylor, one of the Jared Foundation executives, was charged and arrested for child pornography, child exploitation, and voyeurism. During the investigation of this case, the authorities discovered Jared's involvement, and eventually, this led to his arrest.
Plea Agreement and Incarceration
In August of 2015, the federal prosecutors reported that they had struck a deal with Jared. According to this deal, he would plead guilty to two charges— his involvement in the receipt and distribution of child pornography and traveling for engaging in sexual conduct with a minor.
Even though Jared was facing almost fifty years in prison, the federal prosecutors settled on a prison sentence of 12 and a half years as part of the plea deal. On the other hand, Jared himself asked for a sentence of no more than five years.
Ultimately, the judge ruled that Jared will have to serve 188 months in prison, which came to a little more than 15 and a half years, with a minimum sentence of at least 13 years before being eligible for early release.
Additionally, while Jared already agreed to pay $1.4 million for restitution, the judge fined him an additional $225,000. In November 2015, the authorities temporarily moved Jared to the Detention Center in Henderson County, Kentucky. In December that year, he was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Englewood, where he is still serving his sentence.
Jared Fogle – Where Is He Now?
In 2018, Jared sued the Federal Government for $57 million as he claimed the government unlawfully tricked him into pleading guilty, thereby violating his constitutional rights. This case was not his first attempt at getting out of jail before completing his sentence.
Since 2015, he has accused the judge overseeing his case as being biased since she has daughters. He also sued one of the victim's parents and appealed for a reduction in his sentence. The judge denied his appeal. In 2019, a former inmate at the FCI, the same facility Jared was serving at, reported Jared was “living the life” at the facility.
This report comes as no surprise since people consider FCI to be one of the nicer prisons. Jared is still serving his sentence at FCI with no plans to come out any time soon. The earliest he will get released is in 2029. Even then, he will have to register as a sex offender and will be on supervised release for the rest of his life. He will also have to receive treatment for any sexual disorders.
Psychological History of Sex Offenders
Currently, the therapy and treatment methods for sex offenders lack an accurate design or effectiveness at identifying potential offenders or ensuring that known offenders don’t repeat their crimes. This gap is probably because of the lack of research on identifying specific personality traits or psychological behaviors associated with sex offenders.
Nevertheless, one study by Walden University attempts to define some of the psychological characteristics and history of sex offenders to identify them better and prevent them from committing the crime in the first place. In this study, the researcher outlined three traits as some common characteristics found among sex offenders. These are maladaptive interpersonal behaviors, antisocial personality behaviors, and impulsivity.
Moreover, upon further inquiry, the research participants who consisted of experienced sex offender therapists reported additional traits that they found to be common among sex offenders. These traits included having a victim mentality, bad coping strategies, trust issues, history of abuse, and self-esteem issues.
In Jared Fogle's case, it isn't easy to test how many of these traits apply to him. One psychiatrist who worked with him reported that Jared used to suffer from a compulsive eating disorder. After his Subway diet and weight loss, he replaced that food with hypersexuality.
While the rise of the internet brought great benefits, it has also become a tool for many to use illegally and immorally. It is also one of the direct factors behind the increase in consumption and distribution of child pornography. Therefore, we still need better security controls and measures to curb these behaviors and research to better identify and prevent sex offenders from committing such crimes.