Does anyone else find it incredibly amusing that the big news story this week is that movie popcorn is a "nutritional horror"? According to a U.S. study, a medium popcorn and a soft drink is virtually equivalent to eating three McDonald's quarter-pounder burgers topped with a dozen scoops of butter. Yum. Around the country, the caloric "cost" for a medium popcorn and a soda averaged 1200 calories and about 60 grams of fat.
I don't care if you're a Weight Watcher, a Zoner, eat like Grok or follow Paleo guidelines - this should not be shocking news to you!
"Who expects about 1,500 calories and three days' worth of heart-stopping fat in a popcorn and soda combo? That's the saturated fat of a stick of butter and the calories of two sticks of butter," said Jayne Hurley, (the Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest organization's senior nutritionist), in a news release.
Really? I think any person who is mindful of what they put into their mouth to expect movie theatre snacks to pack a whallop. Crap food is crap food. Period. When you choose to eat it, you know you're making a crap food choice, and you make your peace with that decision. It's part of the charm. In and ideal world, no intelligent person walks into a movie theatre and orders a popcorn over a bag of M&Ms thinking that they're making a healthy choice. But people are strange (remember those Snackwell's Devil's Food cookies - they were fat free, people ate them by the box full and got fat).
While I think it's great that news like this gets out to the public, it strikes me as somewhat insincere that this "news" is being treated as shocking. It seems as though these health organizations (as well as news outlets) are pandering to the lowest common denominator, buddying up to the public, holding their (virtual) hands and saying "OMG! I totally didn't realize this was bad for me! Did you? How awful!! They've been tricking us all along!".
We need to expect people to take an active role in their own health. We need to expect parents to look at labels, to Google nutritional data and to be make educated choices when feeding their children.
In today's technological age, there is no excuse for ignorance. If you don't know, ask.
Buy your popcorn at the movies, but know that it's a treat. A once in a while. Just lay off the damn butter sauce - even if it were fat free, it'd still be nasty....