College is the time when students develop habits they will keep for the rest of their lives, said Subway spokesman Jared Fogle on Tuesday.
That was a warning Fogle gave USF students, faculty and staff as he walked with them on the campus track near the intersection of Maple and Willow Drive to thank USF for having one of the biggest participating teams in the 2009 Tampa Bay Start! Heart Walk, which will take place Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.
USF’s team had 446 participants registered and $21,552 had been raised as of Wednesday night, according to the Tampa Bay Start! Heart Walk Web site.
Kate Sawa, communications and marketing director for the American Heart Association in St. Petersburg, said in an e-mail that there are participants from the Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses.
Moderation, a healthy diet and exercise are key components to developing a healthy lifestyle in college, Fogle said.
“By the time I was entering my junior year of college, I weighed 425 pounds,” he said. “There were so many things that affected my life in negative ways. Could I fit in the seats in a particular classroom? That’s what I had to look at.”
Fogle, whose father was a doctor, said he decided his junior year of college that something needed to change in his lifestyle. He began seeing doctors to find solutions to lose weight.
But nothing worked, so Fogle turned to the Subway restaurant next to his home.
“And when I say next door, I mean my little, tiny apartment shared a wall with a Subway restaurant,” Fogle said.
It was there that he found a solution.
“I remembered going in there one day back in March of 1998 and picking up a nutritional brochure,” he said. “If I were to eat Subway sandwiches twice a day off the low-fat menu, maybe this could be a way for me to lose some weight.”
So he started eating the low-fat sandwiches – with no mayonnaise, oil or cheese – twice a day. He ate them with baked chips and diet soft drinks or water.
Along with exercising by walking for half an hour each day, Fogle was able to lose 245 pounds. He now weighs 190 pounds, according to subway.com.
“It’s really important that university students get themselves into healthy habits so as they transition into the real world, it will be an easier and healthier transition,” Fogle said. “Stuff that’s a part of a typical American college kid’s life can really set you up for some bad habits later on in life. Taking charge in college is a great time to do it. Set those healthy habits, which means exercising regularly and eating the right foods.”