Movie Popcorn Still a Nutritional Horror, Study Finds

Report analyzes snacks at nation’s three largest movie chains.

Last Updated: November 19, 2009 @ 6:24 AM

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, according to a report released today by the advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The group’s second look at movie theater concessions — the last was 15 years ago — found little had changed in a decade and a half, despite theaters’ attempts to reformulate.

CSPI bought multiple servings of popcorn from the three largest movie chains, Regal Entertainment Group, AMC and Cinemark, and had them analyzed in an independent lab. It found that a Regal medium popcorn — 20 cups — contains 1,200 calories, 60 grams of saturated fat, and 980 milligrams of sodium. That’s without the buttery topping that can be drizzled — or poured — on the popcorn, which adds another 200 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat per 1.5 tablespoons.

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