Worst Movie Snacks

It’s hard to resist the beckoning of the concessions at the local cinema—buttery popcorn, sweet chocolate bars, and sugary-sweet gummy candies. Not only do these snacks cost a bundle, taking a load off your wallet; they also can add a load of weight to your midsection.

Here are the eight worst culprits when it comes to movie munchies, in super-sized portions…

Reese’s Pieces

They’re small, but they’re full of sugar and saturated fat, which makes Reese’s Pieces a dangerous movie snack. It’s easy to gobble down all 580 calories and 26 grams of fat in that 4-ounce bag in a darkened movie theater—especially during a tense chase scene.


It might promise a “rainbow of flavor,” but what the advertising doesn’t explicitly admit is that the rainbow is thanks to approximately 20-teaspoons of sugar and numerous color additives per serving. Really, tasting the rainbow will put you back around 450 calories for every 4-ounce, movie-sized, package…and a nasty sugar crash to boot!

Jumbo Hot Dog

You don’t need me to tell you how bad that processed and cured tube of meat is bad for you. Not only are hot dogs super high in sodium, they are also rich in fat, nitrate chemicals, and artery-blocking cholesterol. Plus, they make them jumbo at the theater so they’re double all of the nasty ingredients and additives.

Peanut M&M’s

If you select a small package of Peanut M&Ms from the concession stand for the protein, and eat the entire bag, you’ll be chowing down on almost 800-calories and 40-grams of fat during your movie. That’s almost the caloric equivalent to two full meals.

Buttered Popcorn

Likely the worst culprit of move-served calories and fat, a tub of buttered popcorn, aka: a large popcorn, can deliver roughly 1,500- to 2,000-calories and 113-grams of fat! Most of it is thanks to the dripping butter. So remember, the more butter you ask for; the more fat you’ll be eating.

Junior Mints

They may be “touted” as low fat candy. However, even though they’re called Junior, this candy is a veteran diet saboteur. One 4-ounce box adds up quickly to 570-calories and 10-grams of fat, which is about equal to a super-sized batch of French fries.

Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

Nachos & Cheese

If you’ve skipped dinner to make it to an early show, like I do all the time, nachos seem like the best “meal” substitute at the theater. However, at roughly 1,500-calories and 54-grams of fat, you may want to reconsider your ooey-gooey-cheesy movie choice and sneak in some baked chips of your own from home.

Move-Sized Soda

There’s no buying a small soda at the theater, especially when the larger size is only 50-cents more than the tiny small. However, this seemingly-innocent thirst-quencher packs roughly 700-calories from a boat load of refined sugar.

Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE

Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE

Julie Ching is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Los Angeles. She decided to become a Dietitian after traveling through Europe, South America, and Asia and discovered a passion for food. She now works with people of all ages and varying disease states to improve their health. She is passionate about teaching people about nutrition so they can live their best life while still considering their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.