Watched 2012 at a Regal movie theater last night? If you gobbled down a medium popcorn while taking in scenes of global disaster, then you made a disastrous decision for your health — because you ingested 1,200 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat while sitting still.

I know what you’re thinking: But I ate a large!

Oddly, if you paid an extra buck for the $8 large size, you got lucky healthwise — because you got scammed moneywise. The large size looks bigger, but contains the same 20 cups of popcorn as the medium size! That is, unless you went for the free refill (extra 1,200 calories) — or asked for extra butter topping (extra 200 calories) — or got a soda combo (extra 410 calories).

These artery-clogging findings come from The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which points to Regal as the chain with the fattiest popcorn. According to the nonprofit’s study:

Regal says that its medium popcorn has 720 calories and that its large has 960. But CSPI’s lab tests found that those numbers were understated. Regal’s medium and large sizes each had 1,200 calories and, thanks to being popped in coconut oil, 60 grams of saturated fat.
AMC’s serving sizes are a bit smaller but still health horrors, CSPI reports. Cinemark uses heart-healthy canola oil — then piles on about twice as much salt as Regal and AMC for a large popcorn that’ll take up your sodium allotment for the day.

Get the full study with numbers behind the health horror that’s movie theater popcorn by reading CSPI’s Nutrition Action Health Letter (PDF). The greasy details will likely stop you from getting popcorn with your movie ticket — or at least from “upgrading” to a large.

Also on MNN:

Healthy, budget friendly popcorn

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