Sharing a small portion of cinema popcorn between two would mean each person consuming a day’s worth of saturated fat
A medium popcorn and soft drink at an American cinema is the caloric equivalent of three McDonald’s quarter pounder hamburgers topped with a dozen scoops of butter, according to a new study.
Consuming the popcorn and drink means taking in three days worth of an adult’s recommended allowance of fat.
The study by the Center for Science and Public Interest (CSPI) found a medium popcorn and drink had 1,160 calories.
Even sharing a small portion of cinema popcorn between two would mean each person consuming a day’s worth of saturated fat.
Jayne Hurley, a CSPI senior nutritionist, said: “It’s hard enough for Americans to maintain a healthy weight even when limiting their eating to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Who realises that they might be taking in a meal’s worth of calories during a movie? The healthiest snack to buy at the movies is no snack at all.”
The study, published in Nutrition Action Healthletter, also found that a bag of Reese’s Pieces sold at US cinemas contained 1,160 calories and 35 grams of saturated fat, the equivalent of eating a 16-ounce T-bone steak and a buttered baked potato.
Popcorn served in US cinemas is dramatically different from the standard sweet or salty sorts served in British cinemas. The American cinemas surveyed used coconut oil to pop the corn, and then topped it with butter or margarine, contributing significantly to calorie and fat count.