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Carb Wars: Going to the Movies with Type 1 Diabetes

Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Carb Wars: Going to the Movies with Type 1 Diabetes

Scott Benner

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is breaking records at the box office in it's opening weekend. The film made 57 million dollars on Thursday and another 100 million on Friday and those numbers tell me that many of you will be in a theater something soon. 

Trying to bolus for food that is carb heavy, nutrition light...

So there I was this morning sitting in a theater waiting for Star Wars to begin (it was amazing by the way) when I began to think about all of you and I decided to compile carb counts for popular movie theaters and include them in this post. That however turned out to be more difficult than I originally envisioned.

Of the big five theater chains, the two largest, Regal and AMC don't not provide nutritional information for their concession stands. Cineplex has a fact sheet online that I'd call "better than nothing", Carmike has a simple webpage that lists the values of their popcorn and Cinemark includes a partial list on their website. The thing is... there is no consistency between the theater companies and no good way to estimate based on the limited information that is available.

Blog post interruptus... 

I wanted to provide at least a guideline to follow but from what I am seeing the variables between theater chains, package sizes, how full some theaters fill their bags and some significantly incomplete data; we're going to have to roll over guidelines and talk about strategy.

You're going to have to make some educated guesses. We could theorize that one nacho is between 2 and 2.5 carbs. I'd guess a pretzel bite to be about 4 carbs but that popcorn is just too wonky. How do you measure it? How many carbs, how much will they eat... ug. So here's what I'm going to do when we head back to the theater tomorrow afternoon so the family can see Star Wars, yea I went by myself today... what of it?

Arden has a Dexcom CGM so I'll be leaning on it heavily. I'll pre-bolus at least 15 minutes prior for food and try to time her food consumption with a diagonal down CGM arrow. From there I'll decide between either an increase temp basal or over estimating the carbs to combat effects of the crappy movie theater food. One way or the other I'd prefer to need to give a fast acting carb (Juicebox) for a low than watch Arden suffer with a high BG through the entire movie and beyond. When I estimate (guess) her carbs I won't only be taking my carb count into account, I'll also keep in mind the average amount of carbs Arden usually consumes at a sitting. For example if the food is 90 carbs but Arden usually doesn't eat more than 70 in a sitting; I'd probably pre-bolus for the conservative 70, set an increased basal (that I could always cancel if I need to) and watch the CGM for signs that it worked or didn't -- and then react appropriately. 

May the force be with you...

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