Monday, June 25, 2012

Calories in movie theater snacks

A new California law requires chain businesses to post calorie counts on their menus. Many restaurants have shameful work-arounds, like In-N-Out burger, which doesn't have to tell us how many calories the extra spread adds to an "animal style" burger because it's not technically on the menu, though everybody orders it that way.

I want to credit AMC Theatres for making its calorie counts legible and fairly straightforward. This did not come without a fight, as the Republican party in California suggested that the public doesn't need such information in movie theatres; what do we think this is, Russia? Americans need their freedoms! But that fight's over, and the calorie counts are posted.

They are shocking. And enlightening.

Extra Cheese is a meal in itself
Ice cream has fewer calories than popcorn, but by the time I got around to taking photos, my local AMC had eliminated ice cream from the menu. Perhaps patrons didn't want a low-cal snack? ICEEs, frozen drinks made from artificial ingredients, are now the lowest-calorie snack, though at least pretzels, chicken tenders and hot dogs have some nutrition.

Movie nachos with a large Coke have 2470 calories total -- about 25% more calories than the average person should eat in an entire day.

In fact, the large movie-theatre Coke reinforces why New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban such sizes: By itself, it has 1080 calories -- nearly twice as much as a McDonald's Big Mac (550 calories, and at least some nutritional value). Patrons might fool themselves by reading 0-1080 calories; that's because diet drinks have 0.

Gotta wonder how many people enjoyed movie nachos and a giant Coke while watching "The Hunger Games."

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Amalie Robert Estate said...

Hi Blake,

I should know this, but I do not.

How many calories are in a 13.5% 750 ml bottle of wine?



W. Blake Gray said...

Ernie: I don't know exactly, but there are about 530 calories in a bottle of wine at 13% alcohol. Higher alcohol = more calories.

So, roughly, a bottle of wine has a little less calories than an all-beef movie theater hot dog -- but more than an ICEE.

Unknown said...

Thank God the government is protecting me! Otherwise, I'd be a big fat slob and die of a heart attack.

W. Blake Gray said...

Thank God it's America, where you still have that choice, and Supreme Court willing, can go to the emergency room without insurance and leave your neighbors with the cost!