Subway: Not Fresh


By: Nikki Nies

I just finished an episode of the Biggest Loser and a past season winner came to join current season participants bringing them food from Subway.  Getting passed the product placement and the fact that losing double digit pounds of weight a week is realistic or healthy, I like watching the emotional and physical transformation participants go through during the show with the help of the trainer’s help.  Getting back to the post, I couldn’t help, but stare at the contestants as they were eating Subway.  I couldn’t believe they were advocating to eat Subway on a regular basis, so I went to the Internet for concrete evidence to see if what I thought was true. So, keep reading!

During undergrad, I had an assignment to compare a food franchising company’s vision and mission and how well the corporation carried out said statement in their restaurants regularly  My group chose to do Subway and although evaluating the nutrition aspect of Subway wasn’t part of the project as it was more of a business class, I couldn’t help, but evaluate how “fresh” Subway really is.  Subway’s motto, Subway: Eat Fresh is a clever slogan and can be interpreted as one wishes.  Some may gravitate to Subway due to the thoughts that “fresh” ingredients are used, however, I want to take their slogan one step further and question how “healthy” and “nutritious” their sandwiches really are.

Although, Subway toots their own horn, stating all their food is fresh and healthy, researchers from the University of California Los Angeles have found contradicting evidence.  In actuality, Subway sandwiches are equally bad for consumers as McDonald’s.The study had 97 participants, ages 12-21 years old, comparing McDonald’s to Subway sandwiches.  Consumers were averaging 1,038 calories from McDonald’s while those eating from Subway were intaking 955 calories, considered statistically insignificant. article-2321877-19B2736C000005DC-684_634x323

While total calories from Subway was lower than McDonald’s, sodium content and average calories per sandwich were larger at Subway. Both fast food chains serve sandwiches that are 3 times the recommended IOM sodium intake.

Part of my research assignment in undergrad was to try the food, so I understand how tasty the food can be, I really did enjoy my sandwiches with chipotle sauce.  However, restaurants and fast food places that are deemed “healthier” can cause the “health halo”, where consumers don’t pay attention to how much is consumed as they assume they’re eating healthier anyways.

What alarms me is the celebrity and athlete endorsements for Subway.  I can see how celebrities can stand behind a product that pays enough for them to represent said product, but where’s the honesty and integrity? Eating Subway once in a while won’t kill you, just keep in mind, it’s high in fat, calories and sodium and it’s still fast food.  Of course, such information is omitted during advertisements and campaigns, but it’s true!


1 Comment

  1. This was informative! I always knew it wasn’t as healthy as touted but this is rather sad. And I agree with you about endorsements. I recently saw an Indian actor who’s also a mom advertise for ready-to-deep-fry food and I imagine a lot of young moms subconsciously thinking deep fried food is the answer for their kid’s snacks!


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