FDA considers making theaters display snack calories

4:46 PM, Mar 25, 2011   |    comments
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(NBC) -- As if movie theaters weren't already filled with drama, cinemas may soon have to display calorie contents for everything they serve, including those gigantic tubs of popcorn.

Do you have any idea how many calories are in the typical bag of movie theater popcorn? Do you even want to know?

Mike Jacobson from Center for Science in the Public Interest says "I think a lot of people are going to change what they eat when they are shocked at the calorie contents of so many of the foods that are served."

Mike Jacobson is the Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, often referred to as the "food police."

His organization is in favor of proposed federal rules that would make theaters disclose the calorie content of concession food.

A 2009 CSPI study of movie theater popcorn found large orders from the biggest theater chains were between 910 and 1,200 calories, before the buttery topping.

Mike says "in an age of obesity, calorie information is probably the single most wanted piece of nutrition information."

AMC and Regal Cinemas declined to provide any comment for this story. But the National Association of Theater Owners has reportedly been lobbying the Food and Drug Administration to exclude theaters, saying their main business is entertainment, not food.

Theater-goers have given the proposed calorie requirements mixed reviews.

Information that could make your eyes pop next time you hit the movies.

Movie theaters aren't the only places that would be required to display calorie information under the proposed rules. Prepared food in grocery stores and chain restaurants would also be affected. The FDA is expected to make a final decision next week.


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