Foot-Long Cookies Will Soon Be a Permanent Menu Item at Subway. Let's Not Normalize This.




By Sydney Kronfle, pH Labs Blogger


I’m not one to demonize foods, however, we can’t deny that there is an obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease (the leading cause of death for both American men and women) crisis in the United States. Fast food consumption is a major contributor to this issue. Although It’s convenient, relatively affordable and palatable, it’s also overall nutrient-void, pro-inflammatory (which is why it contributes to disease) and is even addicting.

(pH must-read - Quitting Junk Food Might Actually Be As Hard As Quitting Drugs)

For many Americans, fast food is a daily habit.

In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than a third of American adults eat fast food daily. Our children are also consuming way too much fast food, increasing their risk of developing poor eating habits and chronic diseases as they grow into young adults.


So when I see marketing tactics such as the following from Subway, I can’t help but be disappointed and encourage people to reject the idea that free and large are necessarily good things. Apparently, December 4th was National Cookie Day. Subway, known for its footlong sandwiches, dished out free footlong cookies for National Cookie Day. This will also be a permanent addition to their menu.

(pH must-read - Think Eating Processed Food Is No Big Deal? The Effect It May Have On Your Immune System May Change Your Mind)

This is completely excessive and unnecessary. Just one regular size chocolate chip cookie from Subway contains:

  • 210 calories
  • 10 grams of fat
  • 150 milligrams of sodium
  • 18 grams of sugar
We have to stop normalizing processed foods and inflated proportions.

I would imagine that a footlong cookie would be at least four servings, making it a cookie containing more than 800 calories! The most concerning aspect of all of this is that it will be a permanent menu item, which I think normalizes processed, nutrient-void food in very large portions. 

(pH must-read - Avoid the Trap of the Junk Food Bargain Sale)

It’s almost laughable when you think about how Subway used to market itself as the healthier fast food. Many of us probably remember Jared, “The Subway Guy,” who was a spokesperson for the sandwich chain and appeared in many Subway commercials. He claimed he lost 245 pounds with the help of eating Subway sandwiches. Subway’s slogan is even “Eat Fresh.”

To make matters worse, “The footlong cookie is not the only lengthy sweet the chain has been tinkering with: In September, Subway said it was testing a Footlong Churro, as well as a Frosted Swirl Bun, in partnership with Cinnabon, in some locations,” according to a report from NBC’s Today.

This is a pattern in America. Junk food at cheap prices in large amounts.

(pH must-read - Attention Costco Shoppers. Hot Dog & Soda Will Always Be $1.50, But You Can’t Put a Price On Health)

Wendy’s is dishing out free 6-piece chicken nuggets, and McDonald’s is doing free fries on Fridays until the end of the year. Krispy Kreme also recently gave out free donuts for World Kindness Day (November 13th).

I am also very concerned about young people and the influence of social media when it comes to eating processed foods. There are so many Instagram and TikTok videos of young, attractive people posting “mukbang” eating videos.

“‘Mukbang,’ which is a term that originated in South Korea and translates to ‘eating shows,’ involves content creators posting videos, sometimes more than an hour long, of themselves eating mostly junk food. In some instances, they take on exorbitant amounts,” according to a report from ABC news.

“While the trend is making Paytas [an influencer profiled in the report] and other ‘mukbang’ influencers wealthy, health experts warn that the videos are spreading the wrong message about health.”

Take a look at this young, beautiful woman who took a bite of a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts at once! This along with fast food normalization is a culture I really fear for the younger generations. Because these videos are often of young and attractive people, they are seen as cool and trendy by even younger, easily influenced people. 

I understand the holiday season is upon us, and there is nothing wrong with treating yourself every now and then. However, so many Americans currently battle metabolic issues, and I think we underestimate how detrimental fast food is to our health because it is so celebrated and normalized. 

(pH must-read - 5 Tips for Holiday Eating If You Have Diabetes)

Don't let these fast food chains and restaurants distort your perception of a proper serving.

It’s so easy to not understand proper servings these days. For example, a serving of steak should really be no bigger than a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. A pour of wine should really be no more than five ounces. The good news is that if you reach for nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, you can eat much greater proportions as well as help fight off disease and increase your chance of attaining healthy and happy longevity.

(pH must-read - Not All Comfort Foods Have To Be Unhealthy)

We may not be able to change the environment we live in. Fast food joints are most likely here to stay, but we do not have to give these establishments our money and potentially the cost of our health.


Enjoy your healthy life!

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or another competent healthcare practitioner to get specific medical advice for your situation.                              


The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses, and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products, and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.


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