According to a new research, Subway meals contain nearly as many calories and more salt than those from McDonald’s.
Subway chain may promote itself as the “healthy” fast food restaurant but the new study suggests that it is not much healthier than McDonald’s, and in terms of salt it is worse.
Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) found that teenagers who bought Subway meals in America consumed nearly as many calories as those who bought a meal from McDonald’s.
They believe that eating from both restaurants is likely to contribute towards overeating and obesity.
According to a new research, Subway meals contain nearly as many calories and more salt than those from McDonald’s
“Every day, millions of people eat at McDonald’s and Subway, the two largest fast food chains in the world,” said Dr. Lenard Lesser, who led the research.
“With childhood obesity at record levels, we need to know the health impact of kids’ choices at restaurants.”
The researchers asked 97 people aged between 12 and 21 to buy meals at McDonald’s and Subway restaurants in a shopping centre in California.
The participants went to each restaurant on different weekdays between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., and paid for the meals with their own money.
The researchers used the participants’ receipts to record what each customer ate and estimated calorie counts from information on the chains’ websites.
The researchers found that the participants bought meals containing an average of 1,038 calories at McDonald’s and an average of 955 calories at Subway.
“We found that there was no statistically significant difference between the two restaurants, and that participants ate too many calories at both,” said Dr. Lenard Lesser.
The Institute of Medicine in the U.S. recommends that school lunches do not exceed 850 calories.
The researchers also found that the sandwiches bought by the participants from Subway in America averaged 784 calories, compared to 572 calories at McDonald’s in the U.S.
Sugary drinks from Subway contained an average of 61 calories while the McDonald’s alternatives contained an average of 151 calories.
The participants consumed 102 grams of carbohydrates at Subway compared to 128 grams at McDonald’s.
The meals contained an average of 36 grams of sugar at Subway and 54 grams at McDonald’s.
Salt intake averaged 2,149 mg at Subway and 1,829 mg at McDonald’s.
“The nutrient profile at Subway was slightly healthier, but the food still contained three times the amount of salt that the Institute of Medicine recommends,” Dr. Lenard Lesser said.
The authors suggested that the higher sodium content of the Subway meals likely came from the restaurant’s processed meat.
The researchers also accepted that there were some weaknesses in the study – they did not track the subjects’ meals for the rest of the day, so it was unclear whether participants ate less at other times of the day to compensate for the excess calories.
Dr. Lenard Lesser recommends that McDonald’s customers eliminate sugary drinks and French fries from their orders and suggests that at Subway people should opt for smaller subs and ask for less meat.
As part of Subway’s “Where Winners Eat” advertising campaign it worked with athletes including Olympic gymnast Louis Smith to promote its Eat Fresh range.
Sandwichmaker Subway has finally responded to international criticism that its footlong sandwiches only appear to be 11 inches long.
Subway’s reply won’t win them any new fans, as they claimed that the word footlong is a “registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub” and “not intended to be a measurement of length”.
A man in Australia started uproar on Tuesday when he posted a photo on the company’s Facebook page of one of its footlong subs next to a tape measure showing the sandwich as just 11 inches.
Countless lookalike pictures appeared all over the internet and more than 100,000 people “liked” or commented on the original, which had the caption “Subway pls respond”.
The world’s largest fast food chain did so on Friday with a comment on the original query, posted by Matt Corby from Perth, Australia.
The statement began: “Looking at the photo doing the rounds showing a slightly undersized sub, this bread is not baked to our standards.”
Then Subway went on the offensive, claiming that a footlong sub wasn’t necessarily meant to be exactly a foot long in the first place.
“With regards to the size of the bread and calling it a footlong, <<SUBWAY FOOTLONG>> is a registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway® Restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length.”
“The length of the bread baked in the restaurant cannot be assured each and every time as the proofing process may vary slightly each time in the restaurant.”
Subway has finally responded to international criticism that its footlong sandwiches only appear to be 11 inches long
Subway has since removed the statement but, as Buzzfeed points out, this is at odds with previous Subway advertising.
The company has suggested in past promotional material that the footlong sub will measure a foot in length, such as a popular 2008 “Hula” advert.
The Subway photo – and the backlash – illustrates a challenge companies face with the growth of social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Before, someone in a far flung local in Australia would not be able to cause such a stir. But the power of social media means that negative posts about a company can spread from around the world in seconds.
“People look for the gap between what companies say and what they give, and when they find the gap – be it a mile or an inch – they can now raise a flag and say, <<Hey look at this>>, I caught you,” said Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates in New York.
Subway has always offered footlong sandwiches since it opened in 1965. A customer can order any sandwich as a footlong.
The chain introduced a $5 footlong promotion in 2008 as the U.S. fell into the recession, and has continued offering the popular option throughout the recovery.
An attempt to contact someone with the same name and country as the person who posted the photo of the footlong sandwich on Subway’s Facebook page was not returned on Thursday.
But comments by other Facebook users about the photo ran the gamut from outrage to indifference to amusement.
The Subway footlong photo is just the latest in a string of public relations headaches that were caused by a negative photo or event about a company going viral.
Last year, a Burger King employee tweeted a picture of someone standing in sneakers on two tubs of uncovered lettuce. Domino’s Pizza employees posted a video on YouTube of workers defacing a pizza in 2009. And a KitchenAid employee last year made a disparaging remark about President Barack Obama using the official KitchenAid Twitter account.