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Teens Eat Just as Much at Subway as at McDonald's

Teens Eat Just as Much at Subway as at McDonald's

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So much for being the healthy choice

Sure, Subway might base their whole campaign on healthy options, but researchers have found that teenagers will eat the same amount of calories at Subway and McDonald's.

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, had 87 teens ages 12 to 21 go to McDonald's and Subway in Los Angeles and order a meal for lunch. On average, the teenagers bought 1,038 calories at McDonald's and 955 calories at Subway, with only an 80 calorie difference.

"Our study was not based on what people have the ability to pick, our study was based on what adolescents actually selected in a real-world setting," Dr. Lenard Lesser told the LA Times.

So sure, Subway may have healthier menus, Lesser says, but participants still chose fattier options, and a "meal" contained more calories than the recommended 850 for a teen's lunch. And while Subway may market healthy subs, what they sell as a complete meal is still pretty hefty calorically. On the bright side, there are probably less preservatives in a turkey sub than in a Big Mac, but we're just guessing.

Things You Should Never Order At Subway

Subway is one of those places that people either really love, or really hate. They have quite a collection of haters who judge their methods, but Subway does a good job of making reasonably nutritious food (that tastes decent), in a short amount of time and for a reasonably inexpensive price tag, especially when you consider that they strive to be sustainable.

But not all of their menu items hit the mark. And while Subway does tend to live up to its reputation as a healthier alternative to conventional fast food restaurants, it's not written into the by-laws of the chain — you can make it as bad for you as you want. Spend some time at the counter and you learn just how quickly the calories can pile up.

Bearing all this in mind, here are some things you should never order at Subway.

A Fast-Food Problem: Where Have All the Teenagers Gone?

A quarter-century ago, there were 56 teenagers in the labor force for every “limited service” restaurant — that is, the kind where you order at the counter.

Today, there are fewer than half as many, which is a reflection both of teenagers’ decreasing work force participation and of the explosive growth in restaurants.

But in an industry where cheap labor is an essential component in providing inexpensive food, a shortage of workers is changing the equation upon which fast-food places have long relied. This can be seen in rising wages, in a growth of incentives, and in the sometimes odd situations that business owners find themselves in.

This is why Jeffrey Kaplow, for example, spends a lot of time working behind the counter in his Subway restaurant in Lower Manhattan. It’s not what he pictured himself doing, but he simply doesn’t have enough employees.

Mr. Kaplow has tried everything he can think of to find workers, placing Craigslist ads, asking other franchisees for referrals, seeking to hire people from Subways that have closed.

Yet there he was during a recent lunchtime rush, ringing up veggie footlongs and fountain drinks. He feared that if the line grew too long, people might get frustrated and not come back.

“Every time there’s a huge line, the next day the store is nowhere near as busy,” he explained later as he straightened tables and swept up crumbs.

Across the country, Keith Miller, another franchisee, is dealing with the same problem. “What employees? We don’t have them anymore,” joked Mr. Miller, who can’t find enough workers for the three Subways he owns in Northern California.

Since 2010, fast-food jobs have grown nearly twice as fast as employment over all, contributing to the economic recovery. But rapid growth has created new problems. Some say restaurants have grown faster than demand, causing a glut of competition that is another source of pressure on business owners.

Restaurant owners are also worrying about increased immigration enforcement: Nearly 20 percent of workers are foreign-born.

With unemployment at a 17-year low, businesses everywhere are struggling to find workers. Fast food is feeling the pinch acutely, especially as one important source of workers has dried up. In 2000, about 45 percent of those between 16 and 19 had a job — today it’s 30 percent.

“We used to get overwhelmed with the number of people wanting summer jobs,” Mr. Miller said, adding that he now gets maybe a handful of such applications, at most. “I don’t know what teenagers do all summer.”

Gavin Poole, a 17-year-old senior at Montville Township High School in New Jersey, likes the idea of being his own boss — that’s one reason he created a small business out of after-school landscaping and handyman work. The money has helped cover his cellphone bill and the payments on the Jeep Wrangler he leased last year. “I want to be prepared for the future, because you don’t know, financially, what situation you could be in,” he said.

A recent analysis by economists at the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that an increased emphasis on education — and getting scholarships — had contributed to the decline in working teenagers, reflecting both the rising costs of education and the low wages most people that age can earn.

Now, after years of benefiting from low-cost labor, many employers are starting to pay more. Fast-food wages began rising in 2014, and have increased faster than overall wages since. But at $10.93 an hour, the pay is still less than half the average for an hourly employee, pushing companies to offer more incentives — like dental insurance, sign-up bonuses and even travel reimbursement — to entice workers.

That’s good news for workers like Juan Morales, who has assembled sandwiches at a Subway on Staten Island for more than 15 years.

“It’s much better than before,” said Mr. Morales, who earns a little more than $15 an hour. “But for my boss, I see that it’s harder.”


Restaurants are notorious for churning through employees. But people are coming and going faster than they have in recent memory, according to data from TDn2K, a restaurant research firm. Last year, the turnover rate reached 133 percent, meaning that positions often had to be filled more than once.

That has forced business owners to adjust.

Tamra Kennedy, who owns nine Taco John’s franchises in the Midwest, started offering $100 as a bonus to new employees who reached 100 hours. She has started offering merit increases twice a year, and she pays all employees more than the minimum wage.

“Hiring has been more challenging in the last two years than probably the previous 10,” Ms. Kennedy said.

About half of her stores are understaffed. So she has devised workarounds: Digital probes, not people, now record food temperatures. She has also invested in expensive new registers that can produce reports that employees used to do by hand.

“I’ve never seen the industry in this kind of situation,” said Robert S. Goldin, a partner at the food consulting firm Pentallect. “It’s never been like this.”

Labor costs are rising, according to an estimate from Dean Haskell, a partner at National Retail Concept Partners, a restaurant and retail consulting firm in Denver. Mr. Haskell analyzed public financial filings from 15 major chains and determined that those companies spent about $73 million more on labor last year than the year before.

McDonald’s has announced that it will expand its tuition-reimbursement program, committing $150 million over five years to tuition reimbursement for employees who work at its stores for at least 90 days. Before, the requirement was nine months.

That $150 million might seem like a lot. But replacing workers is also expensive: It costs about $2,000 to replace the average hourly restaurant worker, according to data from TDn2K.

“Thirty years ago, I would not put up with the stuff I put up with today,” said John Motta, a longtime Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee in Nashua, N.H. When an employee recently missed a shift, one of his stores could serve only drive-through customers for about an hour.

“You try not to be too harsh on them,” he said, “because you’re afraid tomorrow they’re not going to show up.”

McDonalds Foods to Avoid

When you walk into McDonald’s, you’re entering into the carb zone.

That’s dangerous territory for anyone following the keto diet.

Sure, there are some great keto-friendly options at the world’s favorite fast-food restaurant. But there are many more that are overflowing with carbs.

You’ll need plenty of discipline to remain low carb at McDonald’s – especially when you catch the odor of those carb-loaded french fries!

Here are the top 13 Keto averse McDonald’s foods to stay away from:

  • Buns
  • Tortillas
  • English muffins
  • French fries
  • Ketchup
  • Anything labeled ‘Crispy’
  • Hash browns
  • Apple slices
  • Croutons
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Milkshakes
  • Ice cream
  • Orange Juice

Why is McDonald's still so popular?

I'm Russian, and long story short, McD was the first fast-food establishment to come to my country. Like everyone else at the time I liked it, but not that much as to eat there every day.

Long story short, I've spent a long time not eating there. So recently, I decided to stop at the place for a burger.

My burger looked much smaller than on the photo (classic McDonald's) and tasted like it was microwaved. The buns in the burger were tasteless and cheap. Not much to say about the veggies, but the patty was made of a really sub-par meat—I wouldn't buy it if I saw it. And when I came home, I had some mild stomach irritation. Next day, I noticed acne on my face.

My fond memories were gone. But I remembered that I never actually came to McDonald's for burgers—to me, they never really tasted any good. I liked the pies, fries, and nuggets, maybe salads, but not much else. (To McDonald's justice, I searched the web, and it turned out the kind of burger I had ordered last time was actually getting pretty bad reviews from most people. But still, it doesn't change the whole picture.)

I rarely ate anything if ever in other fast-food restaurants, but decided to go to its popular competitor's place (not to advertise it) to compare it to McDonald's. Got some combo meal. Now this was actually pretty good. I won't say it was the best food in the world, but at least it tasted like it was real and not microwaved. And after eating fries there, I will never get them in McDonald's anymore.

So, I started to wonder… Why do people even go there? Of course, you're in US, and I'm in Russia, so it might taste different overseas. But on the other hand, McDonald's, of all chains, has been obsessed with keeping everything the same across the world in all their franchises. And yet in US, there are more than enough alternatives, from Burger King, KFC, Wendy's and In-N-Out to Whataburger and other places.

So, my question is: does it taste like microwaved food in US too? And if yes, then why it's still popular?

Sausage McMuffin

Courtesy of McDonald's

It sounds boring, but ordering this pick means you start your day with 14 grams of muscle-building, metabolism-churning protein.

"If you are a meat lover, the Sausage McMuffin is for you," Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, previously told Eat This, Not That. "With 400 calories and 14 grams of protein, this can be a filling breakfast—plus it provides 15% of your iron needs."

Teens Eat Just as Much at Subway as at McDonald's - Recipes

If you're interested in the impossible, let's just say that it's been an interesting week.

First there was controversial news at Burger King. Then, there was news about how there's next to no news news at all at McDonald's.

But now, Subway might have the most important news of all.

Let's start first with reporting by my colleague Chris Matysczyk, about the surprising thing Burger King admitted this week -- namely that it's preparing its plant-based Whoppers "in the same broiler used for beef and chicken."

Hardcore no-meat-eaters aren't exactly thrilled about that.

Meanwhile, there was just the faintest hint that McDonald's might be getting on the meat-less meat bandwagon in the United States.

As my colleague Peter Economy reported, Impossible Foods is reportedly working with a food supplier that in turn works with McDonald's -- suggesting there might some kind of meatless meat coming to McDonald's at some point in the future.

But now, like a dark horse contender (sorry, horrible analogy), it looks as if Subway is racing to the front of the pack.

Starting next month, the world's largest restaurant chain says it will be offering a meatless meatball sub, after teaming up with plant-based meat substitute company Beyond Meat.

I don't know which will be more surprising to people: the idea of a meatless meatball sub, or the simple fact that Subway is so much bigger than McDonald's and Burger King.

Let's take the second point first. The tale of the tape as of 2018:

  • 42,431 Subway stores
  • 37,855 McDonald's restaurants and
  • 13,000 Burger King restaurants.

It's fascinating. If Subway were a TV show, it would be NCIS: extremely successful, even though it's not exactly socially popular. (It reminds me of how people failed to predict the electoral victory of President Trump.)

We don't know exactly how well Subway does as a company, since it's privately held. But it is an amazing and inspiring entrepreneurial success story -- founded 55 years ago with a single store.

Still, for a while, it's seemed like it just hasn't kept up with consumer preferences.

As one retail consultant put it to The Washington Post: "Let's face it. If you're in a major metropolitan area, you're looking for that green salad place. You're not saying, 'Let's all go to Subway and order through the sneeze guard.'

Now, however, we're reminded: Being hip or trendy doesn't make a successful business. Ultimately it's all about real, cold, hard numbers.

And that's why, even though the meatless meatball sub is just a test for now in about 685 of these Subway restaurants, Subway's larger size perhaps means it has a much better chance of catching on more quickly than its smaller competitors.

I have no dog at all in the fight over meatless meat (sorry, another bad analogy). By that, I mean that I like to eat meat, but I also enjoy really vegetarian options.

Personally, I just don't see the need to create a plant-based meat substitute designed to fool people into thinking they're actually eating meat.

Even in places like Sweden, they apparently find that weird.

But if you're betting on whether companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat really have a long-term future, for now at least, I wouldn't be watching McDonald's or Burger King.

Instead, I'd focus on the bigger chain. I'd watch how the meatless meatball sub does at Subway.


Starbucks has several different pre-made egg varieties in its hot breakfast sandwiches—including the fried egg patty , frittata egg patty with cheese , scrambled egg patty , puffed scrambled egg patty , precooked scrambled eggs , egg white patty , caramelized onion egg patty and egg white omelet —and they each have individual ingredient lists. Click any of the links to see exactly what’s in each one of them.

If you want fewer ingredients in your eggs, get either of the S ous Vide E gg Bites. The Egg White & Red Pepper variety contains only egg whites and the Bacon & Gruyere variety contains eggs and citric acid.

How to Eat Vegan at Subway

Now you can eat fresh without eating flesh—vegan Meatball Marinara subs are coming to Subway, and we can barely contain our excitement (or hunger). After talks with PETA, the sandwich spot will be serving a version of its most popular sub using Beyond Meat meatballs. In order to make the Beyond Meat Meatball Marinara vegan, just tell the Sandwich Artist that you don’t want cheese.

Hungry for more? Subway has a ton of other delicious vegan ingredients, so you can customize a salad or sandwich. If you’re getting a sandwich, order the Veggie Delite or Beyond Meat Meatball Marinara and see step one. Not into the whole carb thing? Order the Veggie Delite Salad and see step two.

Day 4

In the hallway at work, I strike up a conversation with a near-stranger, who tells me his wife has been drinking bone soup for months following surgery on the recommendation of a health professional, and has "definitely" noticed a difference.

Even though it's sitting on my desk, I don't touch my broth today — but nor do I eat my normal afternoon snack of Whatever Is On The Free Table. "I happen to love the placebo effect," Taub-Dix tells me, when I ask if the simple act of adding the soup to my diet could help me make healthier choices. "It might be more of what you're not eating and replacing the soup with than the magical properties of the soup." Maybe the soup works as a weight-loss tool because you don't want to drink it so you just don't eat anything.

On the way to a friend's house, someone gets on the subway next to me smelling like McDonald's. Or is that bone soup? They smell very similar. When I take my golden jar of broth out of my bag, my friend's husband says, "That looks like what I made last week . after a rough night on the toilet."