The Next Summer Blockbuster: Healthy Snacks?

August 25th, 2011 by The Responsibility Project

Why movies don’t need to be an escape from healthy eating.

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The summer movie season is in full swing, and though you might be content with watching Captain America sweat it out as you relax in the cool darkness of an air-conditioned theater, the snacks surrounding you could be more dangerous than the villains on the big screen. 

Balking at the nutritional void found in theaters, Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton suggested last year that concessionaires should offer more responsible food choices such as fruit cups, granola bars, baked chips, unbuttered air-popped popcorn, yogurt and vegetables with dip. And considering that a large popcorn can contain roughly 100 grams of fat, it might be worth browsing a recent Huffington Post list of healthy snacks to pack for your next trip to the multiplex.

Yet, the problem with the movie-going experience is that most people feel that it’s an escape from their daily routines and limitations. One theater owner told USA Todaythat people view the movies “as a time to let go,” 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.”

“I’m not going to the movies without my popcorn,” proclaimed Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon in response to Lynton’s plea. Similarly, 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.”

What do you usually eat when you go to the movies: cinema mainstays like popcorn and candy, more nutritious snacks like fruit and granola bars, or both?

(A portion of this story was previously published as “Movie Munchies” on The Responsibility Project on 5/7/10)