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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

No More Movie Popcorn For Me!

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Knowledge can be a very painful thing! I have always loved theater popcorn, but then I learned more about it! The Center for Science in the Public Interest recently released a follow-up to its movie theater popcorn study, calling out the theaters with the fattiest version of the snacks none of us can really afford to eat!

Do you know that a medium popcorn and soda at a Regal theater (the largest chain in the US) will provide your body with 1,610 calories and three days worth - 60 grams - of saturated fat? How many of us would just sit down and eat a stick of butter - which would give us the same amount of saturated fat? We know that coconut oil is the worst possible oil to pop corn in, and yet, theaters still do it - why?

So it does not seem like I am picking on the Regal folks, AMC, the second largest theater chain, also pops in coconut oil but has smaller serving sizes. Its large popcorn only has 1,030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat. Cinemark uses canola oil with only about 4 grams of saturated fat in a large popcorn, but it has almost as many calories (910) and nearly twice as much salt -with 1,500 milligrams of sodium—a day's worth of sodium for most people.

If you love popcorn, the only way to keep it almost healthy is to pop it in a hot air popper and be very creative about what you add to it - avoiding the fat and sprinkling with spices were some ideas my teens have suggested.

Me, I'd rather just skip the darn popcorn!

Photo credit: jennie-o
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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