November 20, 2009

Massive Calorie Count In Movie Theater Snacks

A new U.S. study showed that movie theater patrons who order a bag of popcorn or soft drink are consuming more calories than they may be aware of, AFP reported.

Some of America's biggest cinema chains offer customers mind-boggling calorie counts, according to nutritional analysis of popcorn servings.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a non-profit group, compared some popcorn and drinks combos to consuming three McDonald's quarter-pounders topped with 12 pats of butter.

In fact, a medium popcorn and soda combo at Regal, the United States' biggest movie theater chain, contained 1,610 calories and around 60 grams of saturated fat, the CSPI said.

The group also found that at AMC theaters, the second largest theater chain, a large popcorn contained 1,030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat -- equivalent to a pound of baby back spare ribs topped with a scoop of luxury ice cream.

Servings from Regal and AMC theaters showed calorie counts higher than the companies' official estimates.

CSPI senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley said that Regal and AMC were their nominees for Best Supporting Actor in the Obesity Epidemic.

Hurley said in a statement: "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."

The excessively high calorie counts may be attributed to the fact that the corn was popped in coconut oil, the study said.

The research found that popcorn cooked in healthier canola oil showed lower levels of saturated fats but similar levels of calories and higher sodium.


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