In a report that will shock anyone that doesn't go to the movies, an advocacy group claims that movie theater popcorn is not a very good nutritional snack. In a press release, the Center for Science in the Public Interest says they commissioned laboratory analyses indicating a medium-size popcorn and medium-size soda purchased at a Regal theater, the country's largest movie theater chain, contains the nutritional equivalent of three McDonald's Quarter Pounders with 12 pats of butter. "Sitting through a two-hour movie isn't exactly like climbing Mt. Everest," a senior nutritionist for the Center said. "Why do theaters think they need to feed us like it is?"
Ah, but that comment betrays an ignorance of the current cinema. When I caught 2012 on opening day, for example, I watched it with a tub of popcorn by my side, as our reviewer Peter Hall suggested ($7.50 for a large popcorn at AMC). It gave me something to do during the non-disaster scenes. On a more serious note, the Center points out the high amount of saturated fat results from movie theater chains Regal and AMC using coconut oil to pop their popcorn. The Cinemark chain uses canola oil, which results in much less "artery-clogging" saturated fat.
For their part, the chains aren't talking, reports The Los Angeles Times, though Regal falls back on the MPAA's statistic that says the average American only attends six movies a year and thus: "Theater popcorn and movie snacks are viewed as a treat and not intended to be part of a regular diet." I know our readers watch up to six movies in a single weekend, so I ask you: Do you skip popcorn entirely? Do you buy anything from movie concession stands? If theaters offered healthier fare, would you buy it?