Worth Your Weight

February 15, 2008

Subway’s Jared

Filed under: fat acceptance — worthyourweight @ 4:34 am

Setting aside for a moment Subway Restaurants’ more recent disturbingly eating disordered commercials (one serving of fries makes you gain 20 pounds?!?), remember Jared and his “Subway Diet”? I just caught a commercial where they celebrate Jared’s 10 years of maintaining his weight loss.

So I decided to do some digging and see if Jared fits my pet theory about the 2 to 5 percent of dieters that maintain their weight loss after five years: basically by engaging in eating disordered behavior.

What I’ve found so far — and I’m probably going to keep looking — comes from an old version of the Wikipedia article on Jared. It states that he ate 1000 calories a day to lose the weight and now maintains at 2400 calories a day. Maintains a weight loss of 240 pounds. Yeah. Right. If this is true, what’s Jared piddling around with Subway for? He’s clearly solved the obesity problem and therefore should be crowned King of the World.

This story flies in the face of everything I’ve learned about dieting since beginning to raise my fat consciousness. If anyone can help me make sense of these claims, I’d be grateful. Sadly, I smell a six-inch rat sub on wheat and think there may be some stretching of the truth happening in this case.



  1. I’m a fat woman who is straddling both the dieting and fat acceptance worlds. As with all things, the world is not all black and white or all naturally thin or fat. Why can’t it be true that Jared maintains his weight loss? If he’s making a good amount of money as a spokesperson, I bet he has the time and determination to hold fairly steady. Weight/metabolism is completely individual – isn’t that what FA is all about? PS. I plan to lose enough weight to wear size 18 – I’ll still be fat, but I’ll have a better quality of life.

    Comment by Alinakaren — February 15, 2008 @ 5:50 am

  2. Here’s something to make sense of these claims–maybe he did it. Maybe he is maintaining his weight loss and is living happily ever after. Why is that impossible, or even a bad thing, even if it blows your pet theory? I can understand being unhappy at someone else’s eating disorder, if it is making them sick, but he looks o.k. to me. Why is Jared a problem that you have to keep investigating?

    Comment by Linda — February 15, 2008 @ 6:30 am

  3. “So I decided to do some digging and see if Jared fits my pet theory about the 2 to 5 percent of dieters that maintain their weight loss after five years: basically by engaging in eating disordered behavior.”

    Do you have any actual evidence for that pet theory (and not from Junk Food Science, for god’s sakes- from a reliable source) or, for that matter, any medical training that would qualify you to make claims like that? Reading studies on the Internet and making snarky blog posts about them doesn’t count, by the way.

    Comment by Alex — February 15, 2008 @ 6:43 am

  4. Alex, how is Junk Food Science not a reliable source? Sandy cites and/or links to every study to which she refers. Those studies are major: JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, etc. She doesn’t cherry-pick statistically eyebrow-raising studies, or confuse correlation with causation. Why do you have a problem with Junk Food Science? It’s not like Sandy runs the studies herself, she just reports on them.

    worthyourweight, I’ll be interested to know if you find anything out. And commentators, wyw considers the possibility that Jared might have found the secret of weight loss, which we’ve all been yo-yo-ing and killing our bodies for our entire lives, and she rightly asks if he has in fact found it, why isn’t he capitalizing on it (more than appearing in a few Subway commercials)? Surely the rest of us want to solve this great conundrum of changing our biological setpoint (the existence of which has been shown by major studies, Alex. Go look them up yourself, I’m not going to do the legwork for your petulant ignorance).

    Oh yeah, one of the *several* diet studies was a 2-year JAMA study which followed dieters who did either a low-carb diet, or a more traditional low-calorie diet. It ended a few years ago, and at the end of it a large majority of the participants had gained the weight back, and those that didn’t were exhibiting disordered behaviors like obsessive exercise (and I know pro-dieters, anti-fat people have a problem with the term ‘obsessive exercise’ – they seem not to recognize the very real phenomenon of exercise bulimia and neurotic exercising, so cap your protests on that point, I’m already familiar with them), and eating-disordered behavior. So I’ll enlighten on that one since it’s still fairly fresh in my mind.

    Comment by BigLiberty — February 15, 2008 @ 7:11 am

  5. I don’t think there is necessarily one answer to what people should weigh, or one factor in weight. He found something that worked for him. If he is happy with his life, and his health is good, than bully for him. Again I ask, why is his weight a problem for anybody else? If you accept yourself, and decide not to do the dieting thing because you have decided it was worthless, what do you care what anybody else decides?

    Comment by Linda — February 15, 2008 @ 7:47 am

  6. Linda,

    Because he’s using his weight loss to promote a fast food chain, it isn’t just an issue of “what worked for him”. HIs claims are being used to “prove” that subway is effective in weight loss, and WYW is skeptical. Even if his claims are found to be true, skepticism is a fair response given that what he is claiming is both a highly desirable outcome for the food chain, and also true for less than 5% of the population at any given time.

    Comment by Dolia — February 15, 2008 @ 8:10 am

  7. If 95% of dieters do regain their weight, that leaves 5% who might not – or who at least may have the genetic potential to not regain it. (Some might anyway, just because they *don’t* obsessively push themselves to keep it off.)

    It may be that this particular man falls in that 5%. Until we have GATTACA-style genetic testing we’ll never know. (Not that that would be a good idea! Just saying!)

    That’s one major problem with dieting – if it *never* worked, people simply wouldn’t do it, and the companies couldn’t sell their products. But because it probably *does* work for a tiny percentage (less than the fingers on one hand), that gives people hope – and the hope fuels the product sales.

    Comment by stefanie — February 15, 2008 @ 8:36 am

  8. So you have to have a scientific paper to express scepticism, only if you doubt sustained weight loss, not if you doubt the failure of diets though. And we do not control science, scientists and their paymasters do, it’s for them to explain to us why dieting has been such a comprehensive failure everywhere in world, no country has seen a lowering of the ‘obesity’ rate through slimming clubs etc.

    Scientists have to explain that SCIENTIFICALLY. Have they done that yet?

    Comment by wriggles — February 15, 2008 @ 8:42 am

  9. I think part of the original point was not necessarily that he can’t keep the weight off because a very small percentage of people can. I think the problem was the claim that he lost the weight eating 1,000 calories a day and is now maintaining a 240-lb loss eating 2,400 calories a day. To anyone who has read the studies or experienced dieting this is highly unlikely. Those who maintain drastic weight loss must resort to very low calorie lifestyles. As a person who was once down to 600 calories a day and gaining weight, this “normal” intake of 2,400 calories is suspicious.

    Comment by Teri — February 15, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  10. According to the Subway website, Jared lost 245 pounds in less than a year. That’s over 20 pounds a month! He lost the first 100 pounds in three months. I don’t care what weight you start at or finish at, that should send ED warning signs to any medical professional. You can be fat and still be anorexic. I can’t even imagine how frail his heart tissue must be by now.

    Comment by JoGeek — February 15, 2008 @ 8:50 am

  11. This is sad. The guy loses weight, keeps it off, is an inspirational advocate for a healthy lifestyle, and you accuse him of having an eating disorder based on zero evidence other than that it sounds fishy to you after a Wikipedia article you read.

    Why? Why do this?

    Comment by The Fighting Life — February 15, 2008 @ 8:52 am

  12. I don’t – intentionally – know much about Jared and so I cannot speculate on him. But as for the 5 percent of dieters who do keep off the weight – who’s to say their new weight is thin? And maybe the weight they have kept off amounts to only 5 or 10 pounds?

    I lost 175 pounds via a diet-turned-eating-disorder. I’ve since regained 60 pounds since I’ve entered into recovery for the disorder and today, my relationship with food is the healthiest it’s ever been in my life. But I’ve still kept off more than 100 pounds in 5 years, which I guess, makes me one of that 5 percent of dieters. But I stopped dieting a long time ago. This weight represents my body’s natural setpoint weight range. Since I now eat normally and healthily, my body has settled within this range.

    I would like to think that the dieters who do keep the weight off in 5 years, have long ceased dieting, too, and that the weight they are now at, instead, is their body’s natural setpoint range. Dieting is hard to do because it imposes stringent rules that very few can maintain for an extended period of time. After a while, your body wins out. Many of the people I know who have lost weight and kept it off for a long period of time say they stopped dieting and adopted a “lifestyle change” mentality. I don’t know if this change is disordered or not (although I’m pretty good at picking up on that sort of thing), but regardless, they don’t follow a diet plan.

    I think it is entirely possible to eat yourself above your body’s setpoint range. Once some people get a handle on why it is they overeat or begin eating healthier foods, I think weight loss could potentially result. This is not for all people nor do all fat people overeat or eat unhealthy, but some do, as do some thin people. The fact is, we don’t know much about these often-touted five percent of dieters, and wild speculations that they are all eating disordered doesn’t help the case of people with real eating disorders, either.

    Comment by Rachel — February 15, 2008 @ 9:07 am

  13. Junkfood Science is not a reliable source because Szwarc is paid by food companies (through the Competitive Enterprise Institute) to do her blog. Her “job” is to release this info so that people will choose some products over others and not feel hesitant about what they eat.

    Some of what she writes is truly laughable, like that sugar has no effect on diabetes, and that the mercury in fish from poluted waters isn’t dangerous to children.

    That people keep seeing her as an authority is really sad at best.

    Comment by Somebody — February 15, 2008 @ 9:20 am

  14. JoGeek-

    No, you can not be fat and still be an anorexic. That goes against the definition of “anorexia”. No, you CAN NOT make up your own definitions for things as you choose.

    Comment by Somebody — February 15, 2008 @ 9:22 am

  15. I agree with Rachel, here. It is not acceptable to fat acceptance causes to call that 5% all liars and eating disordered persons. If you don’t want anyone to knock your self esteem for staying large, you shouldn’t knock other people’s self esteem for having goals for themselves and managing to be the lucky few.

    Comment by Somebody — February 15, 2008 @ 9:29 am

  16. People are all different and I think it’s quite possible that he could lose weight and maintain like that. Though I don’t like his diet or the Subway ad campaign where they push themselves as being the healthy fast food chain. I used to eat there kind of assuming their food was better for me but it’s still full of salt, low in fiber and except for a few of their sandwiches with no cheese or sauce they are full of calories too.

    Comment by Melsky — February 15, 2008 @ 9:31 am

  17. I saw a local interview with Jared a few years ago and he said he exercised 4-5 hours a day to keep the weight off. FOUR TO FIVE HOURS A DAY! So exercising was really his job so he could keep schilling for Subway. I have no idea what his actual eating was like, but those words about exercising came directly from his mouth in the interview. I have never forgotten them.

    Comment by weightlessone — February 15, 2008 @ 9:32 am

  18. I suppose you are one of those people who keeps claiming that Mike Huckabee had secret bariatric surgery when nobody was looking? OH PLEASE.

    Comment by Blank — February 15, 2008 @ 9:35 am

  19. Somebody,

    Anorexia is a mental illness, not a weight.

    Comment by Dolia — February 15, 2008 @ 9:40 am

  20. To Dolia-

    It is a mental illness that cannot be diagnosed until you reach a certain weight. You can disagree with the methodology, but you have no right to change it because of your own feelings.

    Comment by Blank — February 15, 2008 @ 9:46 am

  21. Yeah, and also Junk Food Science? Please, don’t use this woman as a credible source. She may link to studies from reputable sources but the conclusions she arrives at are not supported by the studies that she links to. When you look at the Competitive Enterprise Institute of which she is a board member, it’s made up of oil companies, chemical companies and big food like Coke, who want to deny that global warming is a problem and deny that there is any food which might be unhealthy. Junk Food science tells people what they want to hear and it’s really sad that people take her seriously.

    Comment by Melsky — February 15, 2008 @ 9:50 am

  22. I think a few of the commenters are arguing that being skeptical about someone’s claims doesn’t reflect the way they would like the FA movement to treat someone who has lost a lot of weight and seems to be successful at keeping it off. This is a good point. We can’t let our anger at the diet industry’s abuse overshadow the feelings and reputations of the real people whose lives are the case studies we discuss in blogs.
    Would the commenters consider for a moment also thinking of this thread as not only being about one person, but about the practices and deceptions of the diet industry? Many companies are entirely reputable and compassionate, but others see ratcheting up fat hatred and people’s insecurities as a ticket to easy money, at a high price for many. One of the biggest issues in the diet industry is the regulation of claims of effectiveness. Interrogating these claims to effectiveness is the backbone of the FA people who would argue that their is evidence of the harmfulness and ineffectiveness of diets, and, by extension, the harmfulness of the 24/7 cultivation of self hatred and fat hatred by advertisers and governments.

    Comment by Dolia — February 15, 2008 @ 9:56 am

  23. “24/7 cultivation of self-hatred and fat hatred by…governments.”

    Paranoid much?

    Comment by Blank — February 15, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  24. Alex, Somebody, and Blank – the same troll – is extremely ignorant, and dangerously so.

    Paranoia, A/S/B? Mississippi Bill 282, much? The fact that this was even drafted by an elected official is appalling. Another elected official in Texas wants to have parenting an obese child considered child abuse. Florida schools are underfeeding their children and, in response to the children not losing weight, want the federally-mandated nutritional standards for schoolchildren lowered, cuz yanno, they’re the experts!

    Making overarching assumptions about Sandy’s motivations, and generalizations of what she reports, is also not going to be a way to convince people who are critical thinkers. Can you point out to me one thing Sandy has reported on that is wrong? Please cite your sources.

    Comment by BigLiberty — February 15, 2008 @ 10:10 am

  25. Sorry, Blank,

    I should have given you a context. I was feeling absoloutely pissed off at the recent measures such as the proposed Mississippi bill to ban fat people from restaurants, the UK’s NHS banning fertility treatments for fat women, when they don’t ban them for smokers (not that I condone banning them for anyone; it’s just that smokers have a higher mortality), and NZ’s recent decision not to award visa’s to applicant’s with a high BMI. That type of cultivation of fat hatred.

    Comment by Dolia — February 15, 2008 @ 10:11 am

  26. Hi, Bigliberty!

    (So glad to have my suspicions seconded (confirmed?) re:trolls!)

    Comment by Dolia — February 15, 2008 @ 10:19 am

  27. Dolia, you make a really good point: “We can’t let our anger at the diet industry’s abuse overshadow the feelings and reputations of the real people whose lives are the case studies we discuss in blogs.” As I understand it, being new-ish to the FA portion of the body acceptance movements, one of the main, overarching goals of FA is that fat people are fat PEOPLE. Actual human beings with feelings and rights and lives under the adipose tissue that seems to be the only thing that society sees when it denigrates “fat.”

    I’ve always found the Subway campaign disturbing. If they had pitched a “we’re healthier than McDonald’s” campaign or “we serve real food, not fast food” campaign (which would be a lie, but still) that would be eye-roll worthy, but normal. But a diet in which you’re supposed to eat at one chain restaurant (one which does not have a good track record for treating its franchisees well, I might add) to lose weight? It’s a perversion of the cauliflower diet or the grapefruit diet. As misleading as the “WW isn’t a diet” campaign.

    I don’t know jack about Jared. But the ad campaign of which he was part, and its success, is symptomatic, to me, of a nationwide disordered relationship with food.

    Comment by mrYan — February 15, 2008 @ 10:28 am

  28. LOL @ “reading studies on the internet doesn’t count.” Because when you read an article in a medical journal, it’s real, but when you read it in the ONLINE VERSION of a medical journal, it’s fake.

    Anyway, I heard that commercial too and was immediately like “are we sure he didn’t get surgery?” 2400 calories is certainly a reasonable amount for a guy his size who hasn’t ever lost weight, but data indicate that a former dieter would need less. Still, consider the following:

    – We don’t know what his habits were like before; he may have had seriously disordered eating that was keeping him at his previous weight. Given the research I do think it’s fishy if he hasn’t regained anything, since the extreme dieting should have messed up his metabolism — but metabolism is complicated and individual.

    – More importantly, this is a guy who is paid to diet. I don’t know how much he’s paid, but he is certainly on Subway’s payroll and I’m sure his contract stipulates maintenance of weight loss. Given that, I don’t really see a reason to buy the 2400 calories thing any more than I see a reason to buy the “I eat lots of burgers” thing coming from actresses (probably true for some, unlikely to be true for all, given that their livelihood comes from staying extremely thin). But it does make the idea that he would do what it takes to maintain weight loss — which, for those of you playing along at home, is to regularly decrease the amount of food you’re taking in as your body gets used to it.

    I also think people are mistaking “disordered eating” for “eating disorder.” A constantly intensifying diet is not a normal way to eat, even if it’s not the same as having anorexia nervosa.

    Comment by fillyjonk — February 15, 2008 @ 10:30 am

  29. Alex is a frequent troller, but generally picks a single blog and hates on it for a while under various names (including using the names of other FA bloggers to try and sneak his comments through moderation). Once he stops getting his comments posted and/or a response from the blog owner he moves on to another FA blog to hate on that for a while. Don’t be surprised if you get private e-mail from him as well, it’ll be recognisable as his. Just wait him out and his short attention span will seize onto someone else. It really makes me wonder what happens to someone in their life that makes them build up so much self loathing, then vomit it all onto total strangers.

    Comment by FABlogger — February 15, 2008 @ 10:30 am

  30. Also, Jared tends to drop out of the Subway commercials for long periods of time, so it’s possible that he just renews his commitment to food restriction on a regular basis.

    Comment by fillyjonk — February 15, 2008 @ 10:32 am

  31. BigLiberty,

    I just looked at you blog, and I LOVE the way you write! I’ve added it to my favourites. I particularly love your comment on dieting as a rite of passage in order to “earn” a happy wedding day. I’d never seen it in that way before.

    Comment by Dolia — February 15, 2008 @ 10:38 am

  32. I want to clarify on the Jared portion: I think that we do indeed have to see him for the person he is, and that should make us even angrier that his whole life centers around how much weight he has lost, and a company is paying him basically for just being a dude who ate at their restaurant once. I mean, when he’s on their commercials, it’s all, “Hey, look at these fat pants I used to wear!” We know nothing else of Jared. Is he a writer? What books/movies/music does he like? Is he a family man? WHO is Jared…besides a guy who lost a bunch of weight? Does anyone else think that’s kind of a horrifying feature of today’s society, how much praise is doled out for weight loss while other (as I believe them to be) more substantial life-accomplishments are ignored?

    And yes, I know that this is Jared’s job, too, but still.

    Comment by BigLiberty — February 15, 2008 @ 10:41 am

  33. EDIT: Hi Dolia, thanks! I think you’re the first person to add my blog to her list. :)

    Comment by BigLiberty — February 15, 2008 @ 10:41 am

  34. Re: Alex.

    I forget which fabulous woman said it, but there was a thread once discussing UK’s Giles Coren and what a slimy, fat hating priveleged assbeanie he was. The unforgettable comment was: “I wonder what fat woman scared his mother while she was pregnant with him?”

    Comment by Dolia — February 15, 2008 @ 10:42 am

  35. Edit: ….And, BL, I’ve just seen your post about Libertarianism and FA! Wow! Excited! Just what I want to read (I love the internets!)

    Comment by Dolia — February 15, 2008 @ 10:56 am

  36. Dolia,

    LOL, we’re out there! And we’re friendly, too. I think it’s so important that FA doesn’t try to single out any groups based on their political beliefs, and that we all work together, utilizing our abilities to appeal to those of different backgrounds and beliefs. Our diversity will make us stronger, not weaker. Classical libertarians are much more civilized and social than they’re given credit for sometimes LOL. We, like everyone else, also want what’s best for society as a whole. We just think that ‘best’ is achieved differently than others think it’s achieved.

    What I’ve seen in the FA movement is a lot of good, good people who really want to get the truth of size out there, and stop the hate. That’s what unites us, truly. We’re a big bunch of diverse people who want to stop being objectified for what we look like. Embracing that diversity is extremely important, because THAT’S what defines us; that’s who we are, NOT the fat (or the thin, because size acceptance of course means *all* sizes).

    Comment by BigLiberty — February 15, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  37. I think this entry is a big disingenuous to Jared. I read a book he wrote last year. By his own account, before he lost weight he was eating 10,000 calories a day. (Think about that. That’s enough food for five people.) He ordered a LARGE pizza every night at midnight for his snack before bedtime. He only drank regular coke. He never exercised. In fact, he didn’t begin to exercise until he lost over a hundred pounds. You can read a bunch of it online. Just google “Jared the Subway Guy book” and you’re second hit should get you to google books where it’s available online.

    I’m overweight, so I’m not a troll here. I’m saying it would appear to me that Jared was able to overcome a serious eating disorder. He’s now eating a little over one-fifth of what he used to. Yeah, he’s going to keep it off because that one-fifth is now a reasonable amount of calories. I think everyone here would agree that 10,000 calories a day is not.

    Comment by Aynatt — February 15, 2008 @ 11:49 am

  38. I think there are at least two groups of people in that 5% who maintain weight loss. Some are committed to continuous disordered eating. Others have a metabolic problem they have been able to fix (or manage). I’m not to five years yet but in my case it was diabetes–once I adjusted my food choices to control my blood sugar I lost weight without limiting how much I ate. I imagine there are stories like that also for thyroid imbalance.

    Comment by Pam — February 15, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

  39. I wonder if weight loss includes those of us who have lost our pregnancy weight through nursing?

    I have dropped a dress size this past year, through no effort of my own, simply by nursing my daughter. I’m sure the weight was used in making milk, so I assume that it will stay off unless/until I get pregnant again.

    I don’t know where I’ll be weight-wise in 5 years, but would I be included in that 5% if I did? I didn’t diet, but I have lost weight.

    I guess I’m just trying to throw another perspective in there, aside from disordered eaters and medical issues…

    Comment by jamboree — February 15, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

  40. Dolia,
    I see your point about Subway, which trades off on the good p.r. to make all their food sound nutritious and low-cal. I guess what disturbs me is the black hat/while hat mentality in FA. Just as all fat people are not sitting around eating tons of donuts and brushing powdered sugar off their chin, people who are working to maintain a weight loss are not all self-obsessed, neurotic exercise junkies.People want to make themselves feel good about their lives by ripping on people who live or even just look, different. If someone is secure in the way he or she lives his/her life, they don’t need to do it by ripping on other people.

    Re: Sandy.
    This is an interesting bit about her cherry-picking sources–indeed stuff within sources–to support a point. I’ll believe all her junkscience stuff when I believe that mercury in fish is health-neutral. Which is something she has espoused.

    Comment by Linda — February 15, 2008 @ 1:11 pm

  41. Somebody said: Junkfood Science is not a reliable source because Szwarc is paid by food companies (through the Competitive Enterprise Institute) to do her blog.

    I would love for you to provide a source for this statement.

    Melsky said: Yeah, and also Junk Food Science? [snip] When you look at the Competitive Enterprise Institute of which she is a board member [snip]

    Funny, when i go to the CEI website and look at their board of directors, she’s nowhere on that list.

    Comment by Lindsay — February 15, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

  42. Lindsay-

    She wasn’t on their board, but she was on their payroll. The page has since been taken down. It used to be here:
    The Google cache is down for some reason. I will try to find another cache of this.

    Sourcewatch lists many articles she has written for the CEI that are extremely sketchy.

    This page describes her as a CEI friend: http://www.openmarket.org/2006/11/16/junk-food-blogging/

    Seriously, she’s bad business.

    Comment by Blank — February 15, 2008 @ 1:57 pm

  43. PROOF! She was CEI staff!


    Comment by Blank — February 15, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

  44. But remember, kids, we can’t believe anything we read on the internetz. :)

    Comment by jamboree — February 15, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  45. I’m sorry, sockpuppet, but in that article that goes to “show” Sandy is a “crank,” they claim, without proof, that “Obesity causes high blood pressure, diabetes and insulin resistance.”

    Last summer I knew nothing about Sandy’s blog, I just knew about Gina Kolata’s reporting on obesity issues. I went and did some individual research (as a math M.A., I can hold my own with statistical analyses), reading abstracts and full proofs of the most recent, major studies of obesity issues.

    I can tell you this: It is NOT known that obesity “causes” any of these problems, and that’s been shown conclusively. It is a correlator, which is what Sandy is talking about. That’s NOT the same thing.

    To further erode the credibility of your link, a goddamn child could whiff the strong baloney: if obesity “causes” diabetes, insulin resistance, and so forth, then why doesn’t every obese person have those disease? Why do only a small fraction of them have it, and then the disease is MOST STRONGLY CORRELATED, BY FAR with their fucking genetics, not their fucking fat?

    Go away, sockpuppet. Your rhetoric is laughable, and unconvincing.

    Comment by BigLiberty — February 15, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

  46. Oh yeah, and here’s the conclusion of that linked-to page:

    “Finally, as far as the original question of what should we be eating, the answer, I think is pretty straightfoward and hasn’t changed much. You should eat a nutritionally-balanced diet, low in fat, and your caloric intake should not exceed your caloric output. I like Michael Pollan’s advice. Roughly, eat what your parents did, not too much (take in consideration the change in physical activity), and avoid fads. Ultimately, the worst problem with all the fad diets, stupid reporting, and nonsense from people like Sandy who say exercise causes weight gain, is that they’re at least tangentially suggesting the human body violates the laws of physics.”

    Bingo! Bingo! BINGO! I got fat-hate BINGO!

    Sheesh, sockpuppet. Didn’t you know that medical professionals aren’t infallible when it comes to fat hate? http://fathealth.wordpress.com/

    Comment by BigLiberty — February 15, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

  47. Wow, everyone. What a discussion! Never expected this. I was genuinely curious about Jared. Other commenters have answered points raised already, but I would like to clarify and answer, too. I can’t wait to be done with work today so that I can.

    Comment by worthyourweight — February 15, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

  48. Warning: this comment may be way too long ;)

    I don’t think it can’t be true that Jared is maintaining his weight loss. It’s obvious that he is. I question that he’s doing so by consuming 2400 calories and walking “whenever he can.” (Yes, I just got that info confirmed at the Subway site — http://www.subway.com/subwayroot/MenuNutrition/Jared/jaredStats.aspx)

    Jared maintaining a 240-lb weight loss for 10 years by eating 2400 calories a day and walking is what I was looking into. I actually don’t need to keep investigating it because a commenter above gave me the answer I was looking for. The reason I was skeptical in the first place is because it’s actually not possible to maintain that sort of weight loss doing what the Subway site’s info on Jared says he does. There’s a missing piece of the puzzle. That’s what I went looking for.

    While I do love Junkfood Science because Sandy makes a lot of sense and I believe she’s leading where much of the science is heading (that everything’s genetic, even health), that’s not where my pet theory came from. It actually came from my own experiences and observations. I have never come across maintenance of successful weight loss of over 20 lbs. that did not involve eating disordered behavior, whether that be chronically restricting calories, orthorexia, over-exercising, or outright bulimia.

    By the way, I wasn’t aiming for snark. I really want to understand.

    You hit the nail on the head. I’m most interested in setpoint theory. For me, fat acceptance hinges on it. If setpoints can actually be *lowered* I want to know about that.

    I’m glad you mentioned how some people resist the idea that over-exercise is in any way unhealthy. In fact, a self-proclaimed obesity researcher at another blog (one that’s more diet-friendly) didn’t accept my assertion that more than an hour of exercise a day is one kind of eating disordered behavior. But it is — http://www.baylor.edu/integratedlife/index.php?id=8078.

    If Jared maintains his weight in the way it is being claimed, then dieting wouldn’t be worthless. That’s why I’m interested. Basically the party line on Jared’s maintenance only reinforces the ridiculous idea that weight loss is easy, effortless, and sustainable. I eat less and exercise more than they claim Jared does, but I weigh more than he does.

    Exactly. Dieting works for a tiny percentage of people who attempt it. I want to know why. So far, just from my own experience and observations the why is that successful dieters turn their weight loss into a full-time job bordering on obsession or into out-and-out obsession. I wanted to see if this held true for Jared. What’s being claimed is actually not full-time job-like or obsessive. So does my theory hold true or not? I don’t think I have the full story yet, but a commenter above found a huge puzzle piece.

    Bingo! Amen! You took the words right out of my mouth.

    I totally agree that Jared lost the weight in an anorexic-type manner. I agree again that fat people can be anorexic. It is nothing but ignorance and fat hatred that keeps “underweight” part of the DSM-IV-TR for the disease. Oh, it’s okay if a fat person is starving herself and seriously damaging her body because she “NEEDS” to lose weight? That’s bull.

    The Fighting Life,
    Wikipedia was just the easiest resource to check. It was the recent Subway commercial about Jared’s 10 years of maintenance that prompted me to research how he was maintaining his weight loss. The information I found at Wikipedia (now corroborated by Subway’s own site’s section about Jared) is not consistent with how people maintain such a huge amount of weight loss. I want to understand. That’s why I do this.

    I was under the impression from what I’ve read that when the successful 2 to 5 percent of dieters that have maintained is mentioned, we are talking about significant weight loss — at least more than 20 pounds, but more often they’re maintaining their goal weight.

    I thought that setpoint could not be pushed more than 20 pounds higher or lower? At this point, I don’t believe it’s possible to eat yourself above your setpoint more than 20 pounds. I know that others, like you, do believe that. It is something I struggle to reconcile with my FA beliefs.

    I wasn’t wildly speculating that the 2 to 5 percent of dieters who are successful are eating disordered. I think they engage in eating disordered behavior — not that they necessarily have eating disorders. That theory has come from my own experience and observations — not wild speculation. I have never met a successful dieter who is not restricting calories, over-exercising, orthorexic, or purging. I know the tiny sphere of my own experience/observations does not necessarily translate to a larger scale, but it has held true for me thus far.

    The last thing I wish to do is to hurt the case of people with real eating disorders. But there is a possibility that successful dieters are a new type of eating disorder that has not yet been diagnosed and named.

    I’m not sure if you’re a troll yet (as other commenters have said), but I’m leaving your comments up for now until I have a chance to investigate your claims. If they’re found to be trolling, I’ll probably just delete your comments.

    And please see above my opinion about fat anorectics.

    Also, I’m not calling Jared a liar. And I never called anyone I’ve met who’s successfully maintained significant weight loss a liar either. They’ve been quite open about their long exercise hours, their 1300 calories a day, their only eating healthy foods, and how they can bend over post-gastric bypass and cause their diaphragms to press into their pouches in order to purge.

    If anything, I think Subway are the ones stretching the truth here. Their site claims Jared maintains on 2400 calories a day. It’s not possible. To lower his calories to 1000 a day and not exercise until he’d lost 100 pounds — then he started walking about a half hour a day — EVERYthing I’ve read says it would just not be possible to maintain a weight loss of 240 lbs. by then *increasing* calories by 1400.

    You found my answer! If that is true (and now I’m interested enough to try to corroborate it), then THAT makes sense as to how Jared can maintain on 2400 calories a day. But it also means he’s engaging in an eating disordered-type behavior (anorexia athletica). I wish Subway would add this piece of information to their Jared Stats.

    LOL…nope. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. I really don’t know. But I’ll bet if I read up on how he did it (because successful dieters LOVE to proselytize), he’s doing something that’s dysfunctional.

    Right on! If Jared/Subway were not omitting his four- to five-hour a day exercise regimen, I wouldn’t care about this. It was the fact that what they were claiming DID NOT JIBE.

    You’re so right. Fat hatred is so pervasive and insidious that many people really can’t see it! It’s astonishing how ingrained and “normal” it’s become. Also, I do think it’s horrifying how much higher weight loss is prized than other life accomplishments. It’s terrifying. Weight loss has become Jared’s life, as far as I know. He writes about it and lectures on it and occasionally does commercials about it.

    Thank you for that comment. Perfect. It answers so much of what’s been brought up in this discussion.

    I think the information out there about Jared is disingenuous. Had that not been the case, I never would have posted about it in the first place. I will probably look into those claims about Jared consuming 10,000 calories a day pre-Subway diet. I find that hard to believe. (And frankly, I’m not THAT interested in the guy. It was really an off-the-cuff thing that sort of snowballed here.) But, based on what you say, now I have to wonder how many diets Jared was on before the Subway one. If he dieted a lot, how much did that cause him to end up consuming 10,000 calories a day?

    That sounds very logical to me about your belief that there are two groups of people in the tiny percentage that maintain huge weight loss: the group (like I believe) that behave in a eating disordered manner and those with metabolic problems. I’ll be interested to keep my eyes open about the latter and hopefully learn more.

    This whole post and discussion has come from my being at a crossroads in the fat acceptance movement. Either there’s a setpoint weight that can only go up or down 20 pounds (not counting periods of starvation that cause the setpoint to be reset higher) and there’s nothing I can do about my weight, or setpoints can vary wildly and I need to figure out what mine is and what I can do to change it. If I’m really not meant to weigh this weight (not counting how diets may’ve raised my setpoint), then I feel adrift within the FA movement, and that makes me sad because removing weight loss as a goal from my life has actually enabled me to be happier, exercise more, and eat in a more normal/healthful/functional way.

    The 2 to 5 percent are people who purposely set out to diet and lost a significant amount of weight — and have kept it off for at least five years. IIRC, a dress size is about 10 pounds. Setpoint supposedly can fluctuate plus/minus 20 pounds. But I, for one, definitely appreciate another perspective.

    I am seriously not trying to rip on others to make myself feel better. If there is a way to lose weight and maintain it that does not involved eating disordered type behavior, guess what? I want to know about it. I’m looking for facts. That’s why I’m so interested in claims like Jared’s. For me, if it had been true he maintained on 2400 cals+walking a day, then there’s a hope that weight loss actually can work. (It was still super unhealthy the way he ate during the weight loss — not maintenance — phase.) But learning in these comments that he may maintain by exercising four to five hours a day? That is pretty much further proof that weight loss is not sustainable through any normal, functional, healthy manner.

    Completely enjoyed your schooling of the sockpuppet/troll/whatever.

    Comment by worthyourweight — February 15, 2008 @ 8:00 pm

  49. Worthyourweight:
    I appreciate your comments. However, I am a little surprised by the wide definition given to “eating disordered,” in that it included calorie restrictions in that group. I can understand anorexia, or bullemia, or extremes in exercise (like 4 hours a day), but restricting calories does not strike me as disordered. If you did it to the point of sickness, I could see the point, or you ate a horribly unbalanced diet. But is any calorie restriction “disordered?” If considering and restricting intake is disordered, than many diabetics are disordered, too. Surely, you did not mean that.

    Comment by Linda — February 15, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

  50. Linda,
    I’ve never heard that diabetics benefit from restricting calories. I understand it’s the type of food diabetics eat, not the quantity, that matters in managing their disease.

    I could very well be misled here, but I was always taught that once one starts even considering calories, that is not a healthy/functional behavior. We were never meant to micromanage every morsel we eat, as far as I understand.

    Comment by worthyourweight — February 18, 2008 @ 4:03 am

  51. Worthyourweight, I feel that too many things are listed as disordered eating. Many people feel very comfortable restricting calories or exercising more than an hour a day. If one is happy restricting calories and doesn’t feel like they’re missing out on something in life then it isn’t disordered eating. Some people like to have their diet and exercised planned.

    I’m currently watching what I eat by writing it down. From what I can tell, orthorexic seems to be not a real dietary disorder. I think that extreme forms of it are OCD, but focusing on eating a healthy diet and spending a large amount of effort on it are not. You would categorize all vegans, people on CRON, people that follow any diet (nutritional sound or not) as disordered eaters.

    I avoid lots of food in my diet. My diet has little to do with the amount I socialize. I avoid many processed foods, HFCS, other artificial sweeteners and animal products (outside honey). I feel healthier since I’m been vegetarian. I eliminated HFCS because I found it to be addictiv since I ate a whole box of cereal in a couple of days although it tasted horrible.

    I find exercising gives me more energy. I have chronic pain and when I exercise I don’t ache as much and spends less time in bed. I just increased the amount I exercise since I realized that on the days I exercised I didn’t sleep during the day and on the days, I didn’t, I did sleep during the day. I think diet and exercise can be tools to live a healthier life.

    Comment by lillian64 — February 23, 2008 @ 6:18 pm

  52. No, lillian64, *I* don’t categorize what’s eating disordered and what’s not. I leave that to the specialists http://www.baylor.edu/integratedlife/index.php?id=8078

    “I think diet and exercise can be tools to live a healthier life.”

    Of course they are. Nowhere in my blog will you find me saying otherwise. Disordered behaviors WRT eating and exercise is an entirely different matter.

    Comment by worthyourweight — February 23, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

  53. “…was always taught that once one starts even considering calories, that is not a healthy/functional behavior.”

    Even considering calories? That’s a pretty extreme definition of “disordered” eating. I can see dieting to the point of injury, but reducing/controlling calories while living healthfully? It seems that FA blogs seem to have a thumb on the scale, so to speak. If you down a box of candy without labeling oneself a binge eater, that’s o.k. But if you “even consider” calories, you are a “disordered eater,” no matter the motive. I read the Baylor site, and the definition for disordered eating is pretty broad. It seems to me an example of medicalizing a lot of behavior by labeling it a disorder. That’s how people w/BMI’s over 25 got labeled overweight. The first thing I would consider in whether something is a disorder is if it is causing trouble. If not, then that’s a label slapped on.

    Comment by Linda — February 23, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

  54. Linda,
    It’s not FA blogs that are qualifying considering calories as disordered.

    Would you keep count of every time you inhale every single day? Then why count calories? If we’d never been taught to mistrust our bodies to begin with, we wouldn’t consider calories. There’s no need to outside of weight loss attempts. The body is an excellent calorie tracker. It sends us hunger signals when it needs a certain amount of calories. It cues us to keep eating until it has the amount it needs. Then it sends us a satiety signal because it has what it needs.

    Our bodies also cause us to crave whatever nutrients they most need at the time. Learning (or re-learning) to trust our bodies renders calories useless tidbits of information. People with a normal, healthy, and functional relationship with food would never take into account the calorie content. I mean were you even aware of calories before your first diet attempt? I sure wasn’t.

    Comment by worthyourweight — February 24, 2008 @ 3:17 am

  55. ‘Even considering calories?’

    It’s funny that you complain about this because this is the category I fall into. I only discovered it after I stopped trying to lose weight, it causes me to become depressed, yes thinking about thinking about considering lowering calories, seriously it’s a trip!

    I don’t know about defining disordered eating but I do know that people should be warned of the possibility that the clinical depression they can’t shake no matter what is due to them trying to reduce their weight. Not knowing is extremely costly.

    Comment by wriggles — February 24, 2008 @ 10:35 am

  56. In line with what you are saying you should check out the ebook Fad Free. Healthy Eating.

    Comment by private label rights — March 8, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

  57. If Jared’s protocol worked, don’t you think that after all these years, Subway would find at least ONE other person who tried it successfully? The fact that they’ve been using Jared as a spokesperson for so long begs the question of why no one else has been successful doing it.

    Comment by Nan Goldberg — September 7, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

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