Saturday, March 13, 2010

Healthful Food at Movie Theaters? If Only ~

While refreshments at movie theaters can easily double the cost of movie tickets, most  theaters do not allow customers to carry in as much as a pre-owned bottle of water, let alone healthful food. What's a caring, health-conscious movie-goer to do?

Movie houses sell captive audiences ever-larger paper cups of soda and oversize packages of popcorn. With monopolistic power, they sell sodas, popcorn, tacos and cheese, hot dogs, chocolate bars and crispy dry chips to customers bereft of healthy alternatives. These are not good foods for employees or kids or for movie aficionados.

Movie theaters would benefit society if they would at least offer smaller soda cups and popcorn without fat as an option. It's a well-known societal problem in America that oils and sugars contribute to child obesity. Hot dogs and pretzels may be among the more healthful foods at movie houses now, but many customers often won't buy them for religious or personal reasons. Bottled water and nuts are the most healthful choices, nutritionists say.

It's time for movie theater owners and managers to wake up and take responsible initiative and work harder to offer us all a greater variety of healthful comfort foods. They're late to the party, in fact. If they offer good food, it will be bought. They should look at the popularity of juice bars. It is a disservice to overcharge customers for basic snacks and under-deliver healthy choices. If they continue to equate junk food with "fun food" they aren't helping improve nutritional challenges.

If only movie theaters would modernize snack bars and offer bananas, whole wheat sandwiches and sandwich wraps, bean dips, granola bars, oranges, clean apples and vegetables wrapped in plastic, dried vegetables and fruit, real fruit juices, yogurt drinks and dairy products. What a dream!  Starbucks could be a positive example to them.

Movie houses, especially big ones in the northeastern United States, have nothing less than a societal responsibility to offer foods with better nutritional value. Not everyone eats at home before a show, at least not in this busy, rushed society. Customers would prefer to make healthful choices. They occasionally watch movies during dinner hours and would welcome the opportunity to choose wholesome organic fare. Movie theaters should react positively since they are in the business of purveying food. Please let me know in your comments if you have noticed any movie theaters with healthy food snacks.

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