McDonald’s and Subway calories may be equally bad for teens, according to a study by UCLA. As childhood and adolescent obesity rates continue to climb, fast food chains, including Subway, may contribute to the problem.
McDonald’s and Subway are two of the most popular fast food chains. However, teens and their parents my have the idea that Subway is a healthier choice as they do not offer fried food.
As reported by UCLAHealth.org, adolescents between the ages of 12 and 21 were likely to purchase meals totaling 955 calories from Subway. The average meal purchased from McDonald’s, by adolescents in the same age group, equaled 1,038 calories.
School lunches, in comparison, are not recommended to exceed 850 calories.
The data was compiled using receipts provided by the adolescents. The majority of the meals were purchased after school, between the hours of 3 pm and 5 pm. The participants used their own money to buy the food.
Dr. Lenard Lesser, who led the study, found “no statistically significant difference between the two restaurants, and that participants ate too many calories at both.”
In particular, Subway sandwiches chosen by the teens were around 212 calories more than sandwiches chosen from McDonald’s. High levels of sodium were found in meals from both chains.
Meals purchased at Subway contain more nutrients, but the sodium found in processed meats may negate any benefit from the nutrients.
McDonald’s and Subway calories significantly increased with the inclusion of sugary drinks.
As reported by the Huffington Post, Dr. Lesser recommends excluding fries and sugary drinks to eliminate a large portion of the unhealthy calories. He also recommends choosing 6 inch rather than foot long subs. Reducing the amount of meat and increasing the amount of vegetables can eliminate a large portion of the sodium content.
Most importantly, even meals from Subway must be consumed in moderation. McDonald’s and Subway calories are equally unhealthy if eaten in excess.