Remove ads with our VIP Service
Add Your Comments
- Ahead of the 50th Anniversary of "The Sound of Music" Variety Interviews Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer [2/26]
- Watch the Trailer for the Short "Frozen Fever" That Will Be Shown Before "Cinderella" [2/26]
- See "Interstellar: The IMAX Experience" with 12 Minutes of Additional Footage at Select AMC Locations on February 21, 2015 [2/19]
- Neill Blomkamp Posts About Upcoming "Alien" Project [2/19]
- Buy One Ticket for "Black or White" Get One Free with This Offer - 2/13/15 - 2/19/15 [2/13]
- Spider-Man to Appear in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Next Spider-Man Movie Gets Release Date [2/10]
- South Miami, FL: See an Advanced Screening of "Focus" at AMC Sunset Place 24 on Feb 4, 2015 [2/3]
- National Amusements Celebrates National Popcorn Day with Free Popcorn [1/16]
- Get Your First Look at the Trailer for "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" on Friday, Nov 28th [11/25]
- Remembering "The Terminator" on its 30th Anniversary with an Interview with Van Ling and Ian Nathan [10/28]
Few people go to the movie theater expecting to have a nutritious meal. Although many movie theaters are starting to offer sit-down dining experiences with the movie, most of us go to the movies and order up a soda and popcorn or candy at the concession stand. In all of my experience, I've never seen a bag of brussel sprouts offered as an alternative to M&M's, and I don't expect to. Maybe that's a failing in our society, but we don't expect to eat in a healthy manner when we want to enjoy a snack.
But when do we cross the line between a snack and a meal, and do we cry foul when the snack has more calories than a steak dinner?
The nonprofit group Center for Science in the Public Interest commissioned a study where concession items from the top three movie theater chains were analyzed for their impact in calories, fat, and sodium. What they found might surprise you!
For example, a medium popcorn and soda combo at the nation's largest theater chain (Regal Cinemas) contained 1,610 calories and three days' worth (60 grams) of saturated fat. Their medium-sized popcorn is 20 cups, which contains a whopping 980mg of sodium, which is the equivalent of almost four packets of salt that you'd get at a fast food restaurant. And all that is before you add any "buttery" topping and your own salt...
So, skip the popcorn, you say? Some would see watching a movie without popcorn a sacrilegious act, but for the sake of discussion, let's trade the popcorn for a bag of Reese's Pieces. It's a good thing that it's dark in the theater, otherwise, you'd see that an 8 ounce bag of the candy will rack up 1160 calories, 122 grams of sugar, and 35 grams of saturated fat! It's better than the tub of popcorn, but that's like saying a poke in the eye is better than a punch in the gut.
Would you like that to hurt now, or later? Yikes!
Regal Cinemas and AMC Theatres pop their popcorn in coconut oil, which is incredibly high in saturated fat. Cinemark helps the situation by popping their popcorn in non-hydrogenated canola oil, so their 17-cup large popcorn contains only 910 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat, but hits you with 1500mg of sodium, so your heart and arteries will be taking one for the team.
Does this mean we have to stop eating at the movie theater before we all turn into the blob-like humans from WALL-E? I don't plan to, but I think this is a good reminder to pay attention to the nutritional trade-offs of the available concessions and to watch the serving sizes more closely.
I checked out what the serving size is for microwave and traditional popcorn that you'd pop at home. A box of Pop Secret Homestyle microwave popcorn states that a serving size is 4 cups of popped corn, and that a single bag has three servings (12 cups per bag). Could you imagine eating almost two bags of microwave popcorn in one sitting? That's what you're doing if you get a medium bag or large tub of popcorn at Regal Cinemas! The small popcorn at Regal is still 11 cups, which is close to three servings, according to the Pop Secret people.
The serving sizes will also fool you when it comes to soda. A small soda at Regal is 32 ounces! Assuming that ice takes up a quarter of that volume, you're still left with the equivalent of two cans of soda that you'll likely polish off before the end of the movie, especially because of the saltiness of the popcorn (it's interesting how they work together, huh?). If you'd like that soda to hurt on the way home, be sure to get the monster 54 ounce large at Regal...
If your favorite theaters offer junior-sized options, check those out! They are going to be smaller and they are also much cheaper than what they are telling you are small, medium, and large sizes.
You may feel a little self-conscious walking away from the concession stand with a junior-sized combo (if the theater even offers reasonable serving sizes), but you stand a better chance of having your health intact and you still get to enjoy a decent snack with the movie.
Click the Read link below to view the article posted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, where you can view a more complete analysis of their findings.
What Do You Think?
Are you concerned about these findings, or do you prefer to enjoy your concessions in peace, without worrying about the nutritional issues? Add your comments below!
Add Your Comments
No comments found. Be the first and let us know what you think!
Add Your Comments
|Commenting on Journal Articles is available only to our readers who have customized this site, which makes it easier for you to complete the form and for us to contact you with any questions or concerns about your comments.|
Please login or register a new account before continuing.
Log in to retrieve your saved settings.
Forget Your Passcode?Send My Passcode To Me
Not Registered? Create a New Account!
Our registered members enjoy more features, including:
- Save Your Location -- the site remembers your location, no having to re-enter it each time you visit
- Favorite Theaters List -- keep a handy list of the theaters you attend
- Favorite Movies List - movies you want to see, all in one place
- Write Movie Reviews -- share your opinions of the movies you see
- Block Ads with VIP Service -- view this site ad free (subscription req'd)
Basic accounts are free -- sign up today!
Concerned About Privacy?
Journal/Blog - The Marquee - Movie Links - News and Events - Now Showing - Reader Reviews
Customize - VIP Service
|The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a service of SVJ Designs LLC. All graphics, layout, and structure of this service (unless otherwise specified) are Copyright © 1995-2015, SVJ Designs. The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a trademark of SVJ Designs. All rights reserved.|
'ACADEMY AWARDS®' and 'OSCAR®' are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.