Movie popcorn has more saturated fat than you think

(AP photo)

November 19, 2009 1:28:15 PM PST
A new study finds that when you buy snack food at the movie theatre, you may also be paying a big price when it comes to your health.

A medium popcorn and soda combo at the nation's three largest theatre chains is equivalent to eating three McDonald's quarter pounders with 12 pats of butter.

The report was done by the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI). It says people can eat more than half a day's calories and three days' worth of saturated fat in one large popcorn.

"Coconut oil is the worst thing movie theaters could be using to pop in because it is so bad for our hearts. It's 90 percent saturated. Lard is 40 percent saturated," said CPSI senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley.

Those jumbo-sized candy packs are also a health hazard. A package of Junior Mints plus a medium drink translates into 52 teaspoons of sugar.

Movie theatres say theatre popcorn and snacks are an occasional treat and are not intended to be part of a regular diet.