These day, most of the movies I see are with my children. Sometimes the flicks are good, sometimes they're awful, but my kids are always excited about… the snacks.
I seem to lose all sense of reason and proportion at the theater. Tub of popcorn with butter? Sure! Candy in a giant box? Why not? No soda, thank you very much, but I have been known to let them grab nachos with something that sort of looks like cheese.
As you know, my son has type 1 diabetes, so all this stuff is a major treat. We do have some ground rules for dealing with these big carb/fat loads: popcorn or candy, not both, and I try to go the movies in the afternoon instead of at night, so the popcorn BG spike doesn't happen at 2am. We also don't go to the movies all that often, maybe once every two months.
Recently our local Regal Cinema improved and expanded the concession stand. At our last visit, to see the Lorax, Benny picked out a box of sour patch watermelon candy. Gross. We were debating how much I'd let him eat when he noticed the new menu included smoothies. He loves those, and they sounded better than his first choice, so I asked the manager for the nutrition information. They didn't have it. In fact, there was no info for anything on their menu other than the prepackaged candy.
I tried to looked up the smoothie on my phone, but couldn't find listings for Regal Cinema food except for popcorn. There have to be at least 15 other items on this new menu. Since Benny gets his insulin based mostly on the number of carbs he eats, this is important information for us.
Luckily, after 5+ years of type 1 diabetes, we're pretty good at guessing. I went with 40 carbs in the 12 ounce smoothie and Benny's BG stayed steady all evening. Got lucky this time, but I hate rolling the dice like that.
I put in a request on Regal's PR phone line – we'll see if they get back to me. This snapshot from one of their theaters in California is as close as I got, but no carbs and it's from 2009.
I couldn't find info for AMC or other national theater chains – this article helps explain why. Seems movie theaters are exempt from all the new FDA labeling regulations. That's unfortunate. We already know this stuff isn't health food; I just want to make informed choices, even about the junk I choose to eat!
If I were still working in television news, I'd hire a local lab and do this as a sweeps story. (Announcer voice: "Fancy new food at the movies - why the theaters don't want you to know just what they're serving.") Hint, hint, my TV friends.
As of this posting, Regal had not returned my phone call. I'll update if they get back to me.
Oh yes, this is indeed a significant problem. I’m not sure what’s bigger, the prices on movie snacks or the carb amounts. Even the “small sizes” that they offer are not particularly healthy. I don’t go to to the movies often anyway, but it always irks me a bit when i do go.
You probably already have this info, but here’s a site that lists all the nutrition info (including carbs) on most of the Regal Cinemas food/candy: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/nutrition-facts-calories/regal-cinemas