Movie Munchies

May 7th, 2010 by Kathy McManus

One film executive’s modest proposal: forget the popcorn, have a yogurt.

Brought to you by Liberty Mutual's
The Responsibility Project

With movie theater popcorn packing dangerously high amounts of calories, salt, and fat, Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton said in a recent entertainment industry speech that concessionaires should offer more responsible food choices in the fight against obesity. “By bringing healthier snacks into your concession stands, you would be helping our country meet an urgent public health need,” said Lynton, suggesting alternatives of fruit cups, granola bars, baked chips, unbuttered air-popped popcorn, yogurt, and vegetables with dip.

“Two for Avatar, a tub of cauliflower and a prune juice, please,” quipped an Irish newspaper headline in response, while the Word of Mouth food blog asked “Would you buy a healthy snack to eat in the cinema, or is half the fun of the flicks the terrible food?” USA Today reported that some Hollywood stars who heard Lynton’s speech “sounded off as if popcorn is a birthright.” “I’m not going to the movies without my popcorn,” proclaimed Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon. Co-star Sarah Jessica Parker vowed not to give up her movie popcorn either, admitting she sprinkles M&M’s on top. “If I can pour some kind of sugar over my bucket, I will,” she said. “It’s embarrassing.”

People view the movies “as a time to let go,” one theater owner told USA Today, adding that he might introduce trail mix, “but I’m not sure people want to substitute their tub of buttered popcorn for an apple and yogurt.”

Should healthy eating extend to the movie theater? If so, what snacks should be available for purchase?