Thursday, November 19, 2009

Popcorn, I Thought I Knew You

With two young kids, I don't often go out to the movies these days. But if I did, I'd be sorely tempted to hit the concession stand and buy an overpriced tub of popcorn to nurse through the film. And why not? Popcorn's healthy -- right?

Not the kind sold in movie theaters. According to news reports, one study has found "an alarming amount of fat, salt and calories in even the smallest sizes" of popcorn buckets purchased by moviegoers:
A large tub of popcorn at Regal Cinemas, for example, holds 20 cups of popcorn and has 1,200 calories, 980 milligrams of sodium and 60 grams of saturated fat. Adding just a tablespoon of butter adds 130 calories. And do not forget that it comes with free refills.
Not so hungry? The medium size popcorn, which comes in a bag, contains the same amount as the large. And even the small, at 11 cups, delivers 670 calories, 550 milligrams of sodium and 24 grams of saturated fat.
In fact, "[a] medium-sized popcorn and medium soda at the nation's largest movie chain pack the nutritional equivalent of three Quarter Pounders topped with 12 pats of butter."

(Still, if I weren't such a freakish health nut now, I think I'd be kind of excited to learn that the medium- and large-sized popcorn tubs contain the same amount of greasy grub. Bargain!)