Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Easy To Eat As Many Calories At Subway As McDonald’s

A new study has found that Subway patrons eat about as many calories as those who go to McDonald's.

Neon signage for a Subway restaurant

Photo: Jeremy Brooks (flickr)

Subway has close to 40,000 locations worldwide.

Just because a fast food restaurant offers healthy items doesn’t mean people will purchase them.

A new UCLA study monitored the food choices of 97 people between the ages of 12 and 21 who ate lunch either at a Subway or a McDonald’s in the Los Angeles area.

Researchers found that, when given the option to purchase what they want for lunch from either restaurant, those monitored consumed about the same number of calories at each establishment: 1,038 at McDonald’s and 955 at Subway.

Even though Subway is typically advertised as a “healthier” fastfood option, the study also found that the restaurant’s sandwiches contain more calories than McDonald’s sandwiches on average.

Subjects were more likely to purchase high-calorie side items like french fries at McDonald’s, however.

Advertisement, marketing and product pricing were all tagged as likely contributing factors for why people chose the less healthy items at each restaurant.

Read More:

  • McDonald’s And Subway Nutrition Can Be Equally Bad For Teens, Study Finds (Huffington Post)
  • Teens ate ‘too many calories’ at Subway and McDonald’s, study says (Los Angeles Times)
  • For adolescents, Subway food may not be much healthier than McDonald’s, UCLA study finds (UCLA Health press release)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Bloomington, Indiana. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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