Nutritional analysis of popcorn servings at some of America’s biggest cinema chains has found mind-boggling calorie counts that may surprise consumers who think of the snack as a relatively healthy treat.
The non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest study compared some popcorn and drinks combos to consuming three McDonald’s quarter-pounders topped with 12 pats of butter.
At Regal Theatre movie chains for example, one medium popcorn and soda combination contained an eye-popping 1,610 calories and around 60 grams of saturated fat.
At AMC theaters, the second largest theater chain, a large popcorn contained 1,030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat, equivalent at a pound of baby back spare ribs topped with a scoop of luxury ice cream.
The study said the high calorie counts could be attributed to the fact that corn was popped in coconut oil.
The study came out on the same day as new numbers in the U.S. suggested that by 2018, 40% of Americans will be obese. The most at-risk states for bursting at the waistline include Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota.