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Jared’s halo

Curiously, we fall prey to successful achievers and try to follow in their foot steps. Jared, of Subway, is just one example. We’re lured into Subway shops because we know if he ate there every day and lost tons of weight, then it has to be good for us, right?

Well, Dr. Brian Wansink took on that story, too. He goes to Subway often and noted that folks were adding mayo and asking for double cheese and so on. He wondered if there was some DL overeating going on. He had this sneaking suspicion that Subway diners thought they were eating fewer calories.

He headed to the local mall and nabbed happy campers leaving either Subway or McDonalds and quizzed them on their intake and their thoughts on their caloric intake. The MAC’ers guessed they ate 880 calories but actually downed 1,090 calories – not too far off. Subway patrons believed 495 calories were in their meal when in fact they really ate about 680 calories.

While the difference in guesses doesn’t seem so astonishing at first, calculated percentages are quite alarming. MAC’ers underestimated caloric intake by 19% while Subway tops in at 27%.  And, because the sub group thought their restaurant choice was healthier in an angelic way, they didn’t count in the extras and even thought the chips were a healthier option.

Moral of the Story:  There are better options in all restaurants, fast food and quick serve joints. Seek them out. Nutrition facts are online for most chains and even smaller stores offer the analysis if asked. Before heading into either the junk or jewel shops, check it out and just remember – Jared made choices in Subway that allowed for weight loss. We might not be choosing as wisely since we’ve already placed such high value on the quality and density of their offerings.

From Nutrition Action Newsletter 5/11. http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/pdf/permission/2007/health_halos-JCR_2007.pdf

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