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Movie popcorn = 3 quarter pounders?

Posted by Ty Burr  November 19, 2009 11:24 AM

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Think about this, America, as you waddle off to see "New Moon" this weekend: Those multiplex snacks you're paying too much for are also turning you into an extra from "WALL-E."

The non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest -- basically a bunch of lab-coated spoilsports who have a thing against obesity and quintuple bypass surgeries -- released a report and a news release today that claims a medium popcorn and soda combo at your average movie theater contains as much as 1,610 calories and three days of saturated fat. Yum! That's about the same as three quarter pounders from Mickey D's -- before you even start ladling the "butter" on top.

According to the report, the Regal Cinema chain is the worst offender, with AMC close behind; based on CSPI's independent lab tests, both chains drastically underreport the calorie counts in their snack food. At least the smaller Cinemark chain pops their popcorn in canola oil instead of artery-busting coconut oil.

Feeling greasy already? Me too, but good luck sneaking crudite into the movies. Most multiplex theaters rely on snack-food sales for the profits they need to stay in business. To them, a happy customer is a moviegoer with vestigial limbs digging into an extra-large tub of orange vinyl nacho cheese.

Would you like a stent with that?

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Movie news, reviews, and more.


Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for

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