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Movie Theater Popcorn High In Calories and Fat: Study

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A medium popcorn and soda combo at a Regal movie theater has the same amount of calories as three McDonald's Quarter Pounders with 12 pats of butter, a new study shows.

The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest found that the movie theater combo has 1,160 calories and three days (60 grams) worth of fat. A small popcorn has 670 calories -- equivalent to a Pizza Hut Personal Pepperoni Pan Pizza, CBS News reported.

Regal is the largest movie chain in the United States. Similar fat and calorie levels were found at AMC, the nation's second largest movie chain. The study appears in the December issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

"It's hard enough for Americans to maintain a healthy weight even when limiting their eating to breakfast, lunch and dinner," said CSPI senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley, CBS News reported. "Who realizes that they might be taking in a meal's worth of calories during a movie? Splitting a medium popcorn with two other people sounds like a reasonable thing to do, but who would think they're getting an entire day's worth of saturated fat?"

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