Photo: Wahlander, Flickr
Thanks to a new law, clearly posted calorie counts will soon tell you exactly how much weight that burger will add to your hips. But you'll also be faced with some eye-popping news at your local movie theater concession stand. The new law, which goes into effect March 23, mandates that all chain restaurants with at least 20 U.S. locations must display the calorie counts of their menu items -- but it also includes concession stands at grocery stores and movie theaters.
Movie theater owners are up in arms about the impending regulations. Why? Maybe because an average bag of the buttery stuff contains 1,460 calories, nearly equivalent to three Big Macs.
Movie concession stands make less than 35 percent of their gross revenue from food sales, according to Patrick Corcoran, spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners, and its members feel like they're being unfairly lumped in with fast-food chains. "In the basic history of the bill there is no real intent to include movie theaters that we could discern," Corcoran told Bloomberg News. Corcoran claims there was no mention of theaters in the law enacted last year and is lobbying the Food and Drug Administration to overturn the ruling.
But Congress stands by its decision. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) "aimed for a broad definition of retail food operations that included movie theaters and grocery stores because people often buy prepared meals at the establishments," the senator's spokeswoman, Justine Sessions, told Bloomberg. This includes only prepared foods like popcorn, hot dogs and pretzels, not packaged items like candy, which already have their own nutrition labels.
Some theaters have already posted calories according to local laws or on their own volition, according to Bloomberg, but unless there's a dramatic reversal, next week all will need to follow suit. So enjoy that extra butter while you can -- it may not taste as great when you're staring that calorie count in the face.
- Read about outlandish movie theater behavior at moviefone.com.
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