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November 23, 2009

Enjoying Yourself Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

In their December “Nutrition Action Health Letter” out last week, Jayne Hurley and Bonnie Liebman with The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), exposed a deadly health hazard lurking unseen in every movie theater across the country:

Eating a medium-sized popcorn smothered in buttery flavored oil is the equivalent of eating a medium-sized popcorn smothered in buttery flavored oil!

Or, put another way, it is the caloric equivalent of eating three McDonald’s burgers.

If you are like most Planet Moron readers, you are probably saying to yourself, “You had me at ‘smothered in buttery flavored oil.’”

Also, “Wow, I had absolutely no idea that eating a tub of popcorn swimming in liquefied fat might be just like eating other things that have a lot of fat.  Thank you, Jayne Hurley and Bonnie Liebman, thank you for caring so darn much!”

So, what healthy choices does the CSPI recommend in lieu of a tub of larded up popcorn?

“The best snack at the movies? No snack at all.”

The way the CSPI sees it, if you eliminate foods you enjoy, you will live longer.

Or at least it will seem that way.

Sadly, secretly pumping oil all over your popcorn while clandestinely standing in front of you asking if you want more oil pumped all over your popcorn which is concealed in a container misleadingly labeled “popcorn,” is not the only problem the CSPI has with movie theater snack bars.

Regal theaters’ medium and large sizes hold the same exact amount of popcorn!

As Hurley and Liebman ask:

“Other than for the free refill (shudder), why else would moviegoers pay $8 for a large (a medium is $7)?”

Exactly!  Other than getting twice the amount of popcorn for almost the same amount of money, there is no reason we, or Jayne Hurley and Bonnie Liebman, can think of. 

And but for them, Regal, clearly the Bernie Madoff of movie theater snack bars, would have gotten away with it’s clearly-far-better-value-for-the-money popcorn scam.

Another revelation to come out of the CSPI study:

“Oversized boxes and bags (four to five ounces) of candy sold at movie chains are universally high in calories.”

We know that large bags of candy have a lot of calories only because they used “laboratory analyses.”

And possibly their eyes.

In the end, Jayne Hurley asks the question on all our minds:

"Sitting through a two-hour movie isn't exactly like climbing Mt. Everest, why do theaters think they need to feed us like it is?"

Indeed, why do movie theater owners offer indulgent treats to willing  buyers in an entertainment venue designed to charm, delight, and provide  a momentary diversion from the toils and travails of everyday life?

We’re thinking “greed.”

J.

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November 23, 2009 at 07:14 PM in Current Affairs, Health & Fitness | Permalink

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