The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week determined that movie theatres and other establishments that sell food -- but not as their primary function -- are exempt from regulations mandating that calorie counts be posted on menus and menu boards.
The health care reform law requires the information in many food establishments. The National Association of Theatre Owners had argued the movies should be exempt because the primary purpose of theatres is entertainment.
Nutrition experts, however, say calorie counts as well as fat content should be prominently posted at all concession stands to make people aware of what they are consuming.
"Most theater chains use coconut oil for popping, which is 90 percent saturated," said Klauer. "The AHA [American Heart Association] recommends that saturated fat be kept to 10 percent of the total calories. Medium-size popcorn contains more saturated fat and calories than a Big Mac, and that is without the buttery topping."