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Gaining Weight at the Movies: Beware of Popcorn!

Por Carola Sixto -

Finding out the calories in popcorn can cause a terrifying scream, just like the one caused by the premiere of a horror movie. According to a report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest,which analyzed the calories provided by different snacks that are offered at major cinemas in the U.S., every time we watch a movie with a bucket of popcorn we’re consuming an average of 1600 calories.
But not all popcorn bear the same number of calories: researchers found that the movie theaters of Regal, the largest cinema chain, are those with the highest calorie popcorn: the regular combo has 1610 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat, since they’re made with coconut oil.

In AMC, the second most important cinema chain, the calories are lower. But this isn’t because they’re not made with coconut oil, but because the servings are smaller: the large size has1030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat, the medium has 590 calories and 33 grams of fat, and the small one has 370 calories and 20 grams of saturated fat.

Another Movie Theater, Another Oil

In Cinemark, the third chain in magnitude, popcorn is fried in canola oil, a healthier choice. The largest portion has 910 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat; the regular has 760 calories and 3 grams of fat, while the small has 420 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat.
Despite its healthy choice, Cinemark offers popcorn with the highest sodium content: a large portion has 1500 mg of sodium, something to consider, especially for those prone to high blood pressure.
Since the difference between the price of a large and regular combo is so small, most people choose the largest options, taking more calories and fat with them!
Admittedly, at this point, popcorn is characteristic of a movie night, so it’s difficult to get rid of the idea. However, if we think about the calories in popcorn, perhaps we’ll give it a second thought and realize that movie theaters should be places to go watch movies, not to sit down and eat!


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