Healthy movie munchies

This week’s Oscars may have sparked your interest in a trip to the movies, but beware - you may not be going to see a horror flick but watch out for the cinema snacks which certainly can make a horror out of your trip.

The Food Standards Agency have spoken about their concerns regarding the portion sizes of snack foods sold in cinemas which are often high in fat, sugar, or salt. There is a myth that popcorn is healthy, and virtually calorie-free. But this definitely depends on the serving sizes and what topping is added. The calorie content of a large sweet popcorn weighing 375g from a central London cinema was tested recently and came out at a whopping 1,800 calories. This is a huge calorie content for a ‘snack’ when you remember that a woman’s total calorie need for the day is 2,000 calories and a man’s is 2,500 calories.

When you’re going to the cinema here are some quick tips for being healthier:

Walk to get there - burning off some calories on the way and the way home!

Downsize your snack food - buy normal sized chocolate bars rather than the super sized versions.

Share snacks between friends or family - a good way to save some euros too.

Concentrate on the movie - all that munching is not good for hearing what is going on (although the film The Artist is an exception! ).

Go to a really scary movie - jumping with fright might mean some of the snacks are lost to the floor!

So if you’re off to the cinema, whether it is with the kids to see Shaun the Sheep or to the more adult offering of Fifty Shades of Grey, with the tips above it will be a more healthy experience for your waistline.

By Cara Cunningham, community dietitian. For more information on diet and nutrition, please contact the Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster at (044 ) 9395518 or email [email protected].

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