Cinemas face huge backlash for their vast array of sugary snacks
Cinemas are being slammed for worsening Britain’s obesity crisis by offering snacks and treats loaded with shocking amounts of sugar – something that contrary to popular belief, many are now arguing is much more damaging to our bodies than fat. Last year US doctor Dr Robert Lustig, visited the UK for series of talks about his research, and even likened sugar to controlled drugs, arguing sugar is addictive and toxic just like those drugs. "We need to wean ourselves off. We need to de-sweeten our lives. We need to make sugar a treat, not a diet staple," he said. “The food industry has made it into a diet staple because they know when they do you buy more. This is their hook. If some unscrupulous cereal manufacturer went out and laced your breakfast cereal with morphine to get you to buy more, what would you think of that? They do it with sugar instead.” Dr Lustig will likely be unimpressed therefore at news that some cinemas in the UK are selling boxes of popcorn with as much as 35 teaspoons of sugar. To put this into context, only last week the World Health Organisation advised people should have a daily intake of just 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. Alarmingly, a cinemagoer consuming a large tub of popcorn and fizzy drink will be getting an entire week’s allowance in one go. Anyone who purchases a large bucket of sweet popcorn at an Odeon cinema can expect to take in a staggering 1,005 calories; this equates to over half of a woman’s recommended daily intake. Also at Odeon you can pick up a 170g packet of Mars Galaxy Minstrels which on top of the money, will set you back 855 calories and 29.3 teaspoons of sugar. Over at a Vue cinema, for those eating a 200g tub of toffee popcorn, you may be shocked to learn you will be taking in a whopping 830 calories. Within that is 138.9g of sugar; around 35 teaspoons of sugar. Want a drink of Coca Cola to wash down your 200g tub of popcorn? A 44oz Coca Cola drink will load you with an eye-watering 525 calories and 33 teaspoons of sugar, whilst just three scoops of peanut butter ice cream is packed with 841 calories and 14.7 teaspoons of sugar. Professor Susan Jebb, the Government’s advisory figure on obesity, spoke yesterday urging cinemas across the country to offer clearer nutritional information, smaller packs and healthier choices for customers. Professor Jebb is unhappy with the ‘excessive sizes’ of the snacks and drinks on offer at cinemas, and added: “High street food chains, caterers as well as entertainment companies all have a role to play to make it easier for people to make healthy choices. The least they should do is provide clear information on calories.” However, a spokesman for Cineworld defended the chain, saying there had already been trials of healthy options at the cinema such as fruit and nuts, but healthier choices had not shown to be popular. The spokesman said: “The cinema experience is seen as a treat by most people.” Are you somebody who has taken advantage of ‘Orange Wednesdays’ at the cinema a little too much and are left fighting the fat from enjoying too many treats at the cinema? Then Medical Specialists Pharmacy can help you today! The prescription medication Xenical is suitable for those with a BMI over 27, whereas there are other medications that do not require a prescription such as Alli and XLS-Medical Fat Binder. To be suitable for Alli or XLS-Medical Fat Binder you must have a BMI of 25 or greater. To find out more information on how to obtain them, visit the ‘Obesity’ area of the Medical Specialists Pharmacy website.