When are healthy meals not so healthy? asks DietAssist

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The Subway chain bills itself as the ‘healthy’ fast food restaurant, but a new study from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) suggests that it is not much healthier than McDonald’s, and in terms of salt is worse.

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Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) revealed that teenagers who bought Subway meals in America consumed nearly as many calories as those who bought a meal from McDonald’s.

Subway meals contain nearly as many calories and more salt than those from McDonald’s, according to new research.

It would appear that eating from either restaurant is likely to add towards overeating and obesity. Participants bought meals containing an average of 1,038 calories at McDonald's and an average of 955 calories at Subway.

The salt intake averaged 2,149 mg at Subway and 1,829 mg at McDonald's.

Every day, millions of people eat at McDonald's and Subway, the two largest fast food chains in the world. Both restaurants purvey food that is high in sugar and salt.

This research is particularly poignant as part of Subway's advertising campaign it uses the slogan 'Where Winners Eat' to promote its Eat Fresh range. The question is, winners of what?

‘We found that there was no statistically significant difference between the two restaurants, and that participants ate too many calories at both,’ said Dr Lenard Lesser, who led the research.

Subway faired a little better in the drinks as their sugary drinks contained an average of 61 calories while the McDonald’s alternatives contained an average of 151 calories.

The research did highlight that the nutrient content at Subway was slightly healthier, but the food still contained three times the amount of salt that the Institute of Medicine recommends.

Rob Woodgate, co-creator of the DietAssist programme, said, “It’s little wonder we have an obesity problem in the UK when food suppliers such as Subway can position themselves as a healthy option. When you compare how many calories you need to lose weight with these menus, the problem is clear.”

“Fast food companies rely on the fact that members of the public are too busy or distracted to pay close attention to the nutritional facts, and their marketing is designed is to maximise profits, not look after their customers waistlines.”

“The result is that customers end up eating far more than they need. At DietAssist, we teach people the psychology of dieting so that they can take back control of their eating and avoid falling for the fast food marketers tricks.”

The DietAssist programme is the result of over 20 years experience of helping people to lose weight effectively, and uses the latest psychological techniques to avoid the self sabotage and demotivation that dieters commonly experience.

The DietAssist programme helps dieters strengthen their motivation and resolve, and creates the optimum psychological state for success. It is designed to work alongside any weight loss programme or sensible eating plan.

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