Saturday, September 27, 2003

Subway revamps kids' fare

The Associated Press

MILFORD, Conn. - The Subway sandwich chain is introducing a revamped children's meal that includes fewer calories at its nearly 20,000 restaurants.

The move comes amid growing concern about obesity in children that has sparked threats of lawsuits against fast food restaurants. Several fast food chains are testing more healthful children's meals.

The company is known for its commercials in which dieter Jared Fogle touts how he lost more than 200 pounds by eating low-fat Subway sandwiches.

In Subway's new "Kids' Pak," a fruit roll-up will replace a cookie and a juice box will be substituted for a soda. The new meal will have a total of 370 calories, compared to 590 calories before the changes, Subway officials said.

The toy that comes with the package will be aimed more at encouraging children to play outside, said Les Winograd, spokesman for Milford-based Subway.

"The toy is now going to be sort of an activity-inspiring toy," Winograd said.

Food chains are trying to show they are proactive in addressing the concerns, said Scott Hume, managing editor of Restaurants and Institutions, a food service trade publication. Subway has the most restaurants in the United States.

"What they do certainly has an impact," Hume said. "But also what they're doing is not something every chain with a children's meal hasn't already been looking at."

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