Food Showdown: Battle of the Movie Theater Snacks!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Who doesn't love the movies...and the movie theater snacks? It's hard to resist the colorful candy packages and smell of fresh popcorn wafting through the air. But for the calorie conscious, which of these salty snacks is the better choice: the light-as-air popcorn or the crunchy nacho chips dipped in gooey cheese?

Can you guess the salty theater snack that will do the least damage to your waistline?

The Winner: Nachos!

The average serving of movie theater nachos (about 30 chips plus cheese sauce) contains 554 calories and 44 grams of fat.  If you planned for the treat and split it with your movie date, you won't walk away with too much damage.  However, the medium popcorn from the theater packs more than 1,100 calories and an artery-clogging 90 grams of fat (138% of your daily value).  Of course, you'd do best to avoid the snack bar completely or bring your own healthy choices, such as bottled water, pretzels, or bite-size raw veggies.


What's your favorite movie theater snack?

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Wow. I love the popcorn. Yikes guess I won't be eating that anymore Report
DIVAGLOW 1/31/2021
Yay! I love nachos! Report
FISHGUT3 12/9/2020
thanks Report
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CHERYLHURT 11/30/2020
Movies are closed. Report
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BEASGIRL 7/27/2020
Not much of a problem these days with theaters being closed! Report
FLUFFY83 7/24/2020
I can usually go without movie snacks if I have gum or mints with me. Report
I don't really "go" to the movies, but when I watch movies at home I like to eat popcorn and candy is a close second.
Thanks for sharing Report
Thanks Report
I don't go to the movies. Report
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Thank You...………. Report
Hello, my name is Katy. I am a popcorn addict. I am diabetic and used to think I could eat some carbs. My body does not process carbs so I had to break this love affair cold turkey. I am doing MUCH better now that we only see each other maybe once a year or less. Report
Tubemate of Devian Studio helps users to download movies and videos online: Report
"Of course, you'd do best to avoid the snack bar completely or bring your own healthy choices, such as bottled water, pretzels, or bite-size raw veggies."

This is wrong on SO many levels. Yes, it's expensive but theaters do not make money on the movies alone. Concessions is how they profit. If you can't abide by their rules, please, stay home! Report
I don't prefer watch movies in theater because i watche them on my android smartphone on movie apps which is I enjoy those pop corn in my house only :P Report
I try to eat beforehand and drink water to fill me up before going in. I also try not to eat while watching tv/movies as I’m practicing mindful eating. Report
I so do not understand why folk "have" to eat at the cinema.
A meal before you go, then no need to eat while you're there.
And then - big celebrations - no added weight, AND no rubbish on the cinema floor!
Oh - and none of that irritating crunch noise! Report
Don't do theatres (not a big movie fan for many years now - don't ask), which is ironic since a family member just started working at one......oh, well...…. Report
Wish theater popcorn was more healthy Report
I tried the nachos the last time I went to a movie (Avatar). Not such a fan of them. I think I will do the popcorn if I ever go to a theater again. I prefer those venues that give you an older movie and lots of choices for dinner. Report
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interesting re. nachos Report
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I don't gotta have popcorn 🍿 BUT momma gone have sum nachos water & red vines it's just how it is. Thx SP Report
Interesting Report
The movie popcorn with jalapeno peppers (no salt!) and a Diet drink. My favorite and guilty pleasure! Report
Our theater lets you butter your own popcorn. But I avoid it. I bring some almonds. Report
I bring my own light popcorn in- without guilt. I have a special bag (no noisy paper) that I put it in. Then I put it in my over-the-shoulder treat purse/bag. I compromise by purchasing a diet drink. Report
Nachos seriously... Report
I try to eat a healthy BEFORE I go to the movies. Save money & weight gain! Report
Sometimes, it's to h*ll with the fat and calories, and going to the movies is one of those times. That said, the last movie I went to was the most recent Harry Potter, and the next will be The Hunger Games, so I certainly don't overdo it on movie popcorn. Report
After going to the movies and sharing a large popcorn, coming home and putting it in my tracker, I will NEVER eat popcorn at the movies again. So this was no surprise to me. I'll stick with my 100 calorie bags at home Report
Ok, I LOVE movie theater popcorn WITH the butter. yum yum!

I usually go 2x a year (Twilight, 2 c Robert Pattinson on the large screen, so it will be my last trip this Nov). I go before noon to get the cheapest price. If I buy popcorn, I buy the large because you get a free refill. I get the refill and take it home and eat that over 4-5 days, since the large will "popcorn me out".

Since I am trying not to drink soda, I take my thermos filled with water, and usually some Dr. Pepper Jelly Bellies for something sweet.

Curious, am I the only Sparkperson to buy a large popcorn? Report
I stopped getting Dailey sparks food showdown
and don't know why. I don't know how to get them back. Help! Report
I agree with anyone that says," Why does a movie theatre have to spoil the popcorn which could be a very healthy snack with all the butter?" It doesn't even taste good that way and it makes it so unhealthy for everyone. Report
I love popcorn and usually have a bag as a nightly snack. The last time I went, to the movies,however, I brought a granola bar and almost begged for a few from my sister but resisted. It was smelling good and she had peppers on it, lol. I have always brought a snack into the movies, they do not have to know what is in your bag, lol. It would be a bit much to bring a meal but a non-smelling snack should be acceptable. Report
It's not a useful comparison for me if you don't mention whether the popcorn is buttered (which I assume it is). I wouldn't eat the nachos in any case (cheese sauce doesn't appeal to me), but I can't believe that a medium unbuttered popcorn, even oil-popped, is over 1100 calories. Report
Nachos has always been my favorite at the movie theater! I rarely get it, but it's my top choice. Now I usually try to eat at least a snack before going to the theater and just bring a bottle of water. Report
It makes me very angry that a healthy snack like popcorn is ruined by the way it is prepared. So for this reason, I do not feel bad taking in my own snacks. Do they give us a choice? If I could select something that was not so calorie laden then I would buy it there. Report
Wow, I can't believe how many people love popcorn! I'm glad that my favorite snack is nachos, but usually I just drink water throughout the movie... Report
I picked nachos because I LOVE nachos, but I don't believe I've ever gotten them at the movies. I'm averaging one movie every 18 months or so, so I suppose I could splurge if I felt like it. I'm more likely to get a nacho craving and hit the 7-Eleven, though! Report
I get a child's size which clocks in at about 250 calories. Since I only go to the movies a few times a year, I'm going to enjoy the experience and not fret about what's in the popcorn. Report