Though Subway touts itself as the healthy choice, new research is revealing something a lot different, as it was found that those who consume meals at the restaurant are likely to eat as many calories as they would at McDonald's.
The study took place at the University of California Los Angeles, and tracked teenagers who ate meals at Subway and McDonald's.
They told 97 people between ages 12 and 21 to buy meals at the two restaurants between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Regardless of what restaurant they went to, they ended up eating a lot of calories.
When researchers analyzed the participants' receipts, they found that they ate an average of 1,038 calories at McDonald's and an average of 955 calories at Subway.
"Every day, millions of people eat at McDonald's and Subway, the two largest fast food chains in the world," Dr. Lenard Lesser said, who led the research. "With childhood obesity at record levels, we need to know the health impact of kids' choices at restaurants."
"We found that there was no statistically significant difference between the two restaurants, and that participants ate too many calories at both."
They found that the difference between calories in sandwiches at both restaurants was not much different, as a Subway sandwich averaged 784 calories and a McDonald's one averaged 572.
Drinks were also a great source of calories, as those at Subway averaged 61 calories and those at McDonald's averaged 151.
As for sugar, there were 36 grams in Subway meals and 54 grams at McDonald's.
The sodium intake was the most shocking, as Subway had an average of 2,149 mg and McDonald's had 1,829 mg.
"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," Lesser said.
They believe the high sodium content in Subway meals came from processed meat.
Lesser said if people choose to eat at either restaurant, that they make a few adjustments to lessen their intake of calories. At McDonald's, it would be wise to eliminate sugary drinks and fries, and at Subway it would be best to opt for smaller subs and less meat.