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Going to the Movies To Become a Little Less Fun….

When you snuggle down in your movie seat to watch your next action flick or romantic comedy with a barrel sized popcorn bucket and gallon of Coke at your side, your movie theater euphoria might be a bit diminished–if the FDA has anything to say about it.


That’s right. First came restaurants being required to post the calorie content of all of their foodstuffs on their menus. Now FDA in an effort to curb the obesity epidemic has announced plans to require movie theaters, airplanes, and any eatery defined as a “chain” (with more than 20 locations) to post their nutritional information for consumers as well, says WSJ.

Yep, that includes grocery store food courts and salad bars (yes, salad bars), trains and convenience stories. Oh thank heaven 7 Eleven will finally be required to tell us how many calories and grams of fat are in a cheeseburger dog!

Ultimately, the proof will be in the bottomless popcorn bucket. That is to say, whether posting nutritional information at these locations will curb excessive caloric intake and thus reduce obesity will require outcomes research that will have to control for hundreds of confounders. But if it works, it could be a low-cost, high impact policy intervention with ripple effects that will resonate nationwide.

Cross your fingers it will work and until the policy goes into effect I will go in blissful ignorance to the movies and enjoy my movie snacks.

Summer Johnson, PhD

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