Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So Much for My Movie Popcorn

My husband and I had a date night tonight. Our usual date is dinner at our favorite diner, followed by a movie. Tonight, my husband got home from work late so we decided to eat dinner at the movie theater. I had images of munching on a hot dog or nachos, followed by my normally requisite tub of popcorn washed down by a Diet Coke.

What we didn't realize is that our local Regal Cinema movie theater has started posting calorie counts along side its menu. The popcorn? 900 calories. The hot dog? A whopping 448. Those nachos? 780 calories. What in the world could we order? We both would like to lose some weight and this wasn't going to help.

My husband and I settled on splitting some curly fries and chicken tenders: fewer than 500 calories for each of us. Not the healthiest of dinners, but as an occasional indulgence it didn't feel like a bad choice

Given the obesity epidemic in the United States, the federal government is understandably worried. Overweight people such as myself rack up more medical bills and are at higher risks for all sorts of diseases. So I understand recent efforts to require restaurants and other places that serve food to let customers know how many calories they are consuming. And it's not surprising that regulators are getting push-back from businesses. I recall asking for skim milk at a restaurant and the waitress told me: "Honey, we don't serve that. We want you fat." The more we eat, the more we spend.

I am happy, however, my local movie theater voluntarily is letting its patrons know how much they are piling on. It made a difference tonight for my husband and me. I did ask the girl behind the counter whether they'd noticed a drop in food sales since posting the calorie counts. "Not at all," she said.


  1. I had no idea popcorn had that many calories....I too need to lose a few!

  2. It's not the popcorn... It is the delicious movie theater popcorn, popped in oil. *sigh*

    We have a regulation in Albany County which requires the counts. I remember the first time I saw them, I was at a lunch at TGI Friday's; I don't eat there often. When I saw that the salad that I liked had MORE calories than a burger I almost fainted. I was so overwhelmed by the counts that I had soup and a 1/2 sandwich.

    Anyway, what movie did you see? And did you enjoy that?

  3. Fran: I pop popcorn at home with a little olive oil. That is not so bad for you.

    At the risk of offending some of my readers, I will let you all know we went to see "Bad Teacher." Yes, it was raunchy in parts.

    But I needed to see something shallow. I have had a very very intense year as a first-year teacher and wanted to see someone who clearly was worse than I was at teaching children. I guess this is also the reason reality TV is so popular with some people. My husband and I shared some laughs and were able to relax.

    I absolutely would not want my teens to see this movie.

  4. I know the buttered popcorn at the movie theater is high in fat, high in salt, high in calories, but, we go to the movies so seldom that it is part of the experience, so I indulge! I draw the line at the nachos, though, I can make better nachos at home!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the movie - sometimes we need mental popcorn too!