Popcorn at the Movies? No way!

Colleen shared this article with me that she got from Canada.com. Thanks for sharing Colleen!

When was the last time you scarfed down three quarter-pound cheeseburgers slathered in 12 pats of butter? As horrifying as it may seem, for Americans, it was likely the last time they bought popcorn at the movies.

That’s because a new laboratory analysis, commissioned by the Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, suggests the burger scenario is the nutritional equivalent of one medium bag of movie popcorn, washed down with sugary pop.

The tests were done on a $12 popcorn combo served at Regal, the largest movie theatre chain in the United States. The combo added up to a whopping 1,610 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat, which nutritionists say is about three days worth of fat intake.

“Who expects about 1,500 calories and three days’ worth of heart-stopping fat in a popcorn and soda combo? That’s the saturated fat of a stick of butter and the calories of two sticks of butter,” said Jayne Hurley, the organization’s senior nutritionist, in a news release.

“You might think you’re getting Bambi, but you’re really getting Godzilla.”

For Canadians, the results aren’t a whole lot better — about three quarter-pound cheeseburgers, but without the added butter.

The large popcorns sold at Cineplex, the largest cinema chain in the country, contain 1,120 calories, five grams of saturated fats, and 530 milligrams of sodium. Putting butter on top adds another 22 grams of fat and 320 calories.

AMC’s large popped snacks, which are made in coconut oil, have 940 calories, a whopping 38 grams of saturated fat, and 630 milligrams of sodium; the chain’s “buttery topping” contributes another 310 calories and six grams of fat.

Empire’s popcorn is by far the healthiest of the three national chains. But a large serving still packs 730 calories, three grams of saturated fats, and an unparalleled 1,480 milligrams of sodium.

Coconut oil, which AMC uses, is about 90 per cent saturated — more than twice as saturated as lard, the study said.

A spokeswoman for Cineplex, which does not use coconut oil, said that since 2007, the company has worked to “create a lower-calorie and lower-fat popping oil” that is “significantly lower in saturated and trans fats versus most other popping oil.”

Cineplex had tried making air-popped popcorn, which bypasses the use of oil, but customers didn’t like it as much.