What’s in your bag of popcorn?

September 9, 2010 by  

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Going to the movies is fun! Except that it comes with things that are detrimental to your health. The soda. The sweets. And the popcorn, too.

You’d say, “C’mon, don’t be such a spoilsports. Movies are nothing without the popcorn.”

Well, basically you’d think the popcorn is simply a bunch of corn grains that popped. What harm can a bag of “popped” corn do? Well, it’s the butter, the salt, the chocolate, or the caramel, or any of the added flavours. In other words, it is basically all the things that make popcorn taste good are also the one that make it unhealthy. What a bummer!

Next thing you’d say is “It can’t be as bad as fast food.”

Well, actually it is, according to the study commissioned by the nonprofit organization Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The lab analyses showed that a medium popcorn and soda combo sold for $12 at Regal, the biggest movie theater chain in the US:

  • Contains 1610 calories – equivalent to the calories of two sticks of butter
  • Contains 60 grams of saturate fat – 3 days’ worth and equivalent to saturated fat content of a stick of butter
  • Is equivalent to three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with 12 pats of butter

Scary, isn’t it?

The other movie chains aren’t any better, according to CSPI. Second largest chain AMC sells smaller servings and uses a bit of coconut oil but the calories and saturate fat levels are still unacceptably high.

Cinemark thinks adding canola oil can make their popcorn more heart-friendly but this doesn’t work either.

According to CSPI senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley.

“Regal and AMC are our nominees for Best Supporting Actor in the Obesity Epidemic. Who expects about 1,500 calories and three days’ worth of heart-stopping fat in a popcorn and soda combo? That’s the saturated fat of a stick of butter and the calories of two sticks of butter. You might think you’re getting Bambi, but you’re really getting Godzilla.”

CSPI claims that results of their test results do not match those declared by either Regal or AMC.

So why do they need so calories when sitting in a movie theater for 2 hours. I guess it is part of fun. It is tradition. And as long as you don’t do it on a regular basis, your body can tolerate excess calories and fat once in a while. But if you do it regularly, say every weekend, then it is time to examine your lifestyle and your priorities. Now that you know what’s in that bag of popcorn.

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One Response to “What’s in your bag of popcorn?”
  1. Well, that’s just nasty. Fortunately for me, with five kids and a wife, going to the movies means popping in a DVD. I wish I could tell you we have healthy snacks with our movies, but we don’t. Still, it’s good to take stock of the crap that we so readily put into our mouths.

    Thanks for the information!



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