Movie Popcorn = 3 Quarter Pounders, Plus Butter

It's as unhealthy as it was 15 years ago

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 19, 2009 4:10 PM CST

(Newser) – Figure 1,600 calories, 60 grams of saturated fat, and 980 milligrams of sodium—that’s what you’re eating when you scarf down a medium helping of movie popcorn at the nation's biggest theater chain. Add a soda and it’s the equivalent of eating a pound of baby back ribs and a scoop of ice cream, or three Quarter Pounders with a stick and a half of butter, an analysis by a nutrition watchdog group says.

In many cases, calorie counts are significantly higher than those posted in theaters. Regal, the No. 1 chain, and AMC cook their popcorn in coconut oil, which is 90% saturated fat, while Cinemark gets better grades—relatively speaking—for using canola oil, reports the LA Times.

Ellen Gifford, left, sits with popcorn and a soda inside the AMC Burbank 16 theater in Burbank, Calif., Monday, Sept. 22, 2008.
Ellen Gifford, left, sits with popcorn and a soda inside the AMC Burbank 16 theater in Burbank, Calif., Monday, Sept. 22, 2008.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
In this photo released by MasterCard, actor Steve Zahn uses his WaMu Debit MasterCard with PayPass to buy popcorn, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008, in New York, during an event where Zahn treated New Yorkers to a day at the movies to introduce the new card.
In this photo released by MasterCard, actor Steve Zahn uses his WaMu Debit MasterCard with PayPass to buy popcorn, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008, in New York, during an event where Zahn treated New Yorkers to...   (AP Photo/MasterCard, Diane Bondareff)
Movie theater popcorn is very bad for you, scientific analysis has shown.
Movie theater popcorn is very bad for you, scientific analysis has shown.   (Shutterstock)
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