An Addict Comes Clean on National Popcorn Day

A healthy snack in moderation. (The Popcorn Board)

My name is Yanick, and I’m an addict. I’m addicted to popcorn.

They say that one of the first steps to recovering from any addiction is admitting that you have a problem. So there; I said it. And I’m eating popcorn at this very moment.

People smile when I admit that I’m addicted to popcorn. They tell me: “That’s not so bad. Popcorn is healthy.” They just don’t know how much popcorn I can eat. I try to maintain control, but sometimes I can’t stop myself.

Today is going to be tough. It’s National Popcorn Day! Imagine the possibilities. I went to the popcorn site and saw all the pictures of popcorn, all the recipes — not a good place for an addict.

Friends and loved ones have even given me popcorn as gifts. For Christmas, I received two boxes of caramel corn with cashews and almonds. Yummy! I love nuts, but not as much as I love popcorn, which I can eat straight no chaser.

On the plus side, popcorn isn’t bad as snacks go. Popcorn made in oil on the stove is 55 calories per
cup, according to The Popcorn Board. If you air-pop it, the calorie count falls to 31.

Of course, those stats apply to people who consume popcorn in moderation. The popcorn people report that the average person eats 51 quarts a year and that the national total is 16 billion quarts. I have no idea how much I consume, but I’m probably an outlier who skews the numbers.

So now you know my salty little secret. I’m in need of a 12-step program, and I want your support. But if we ever find ourselves sharing popcorn at a movie or elsewhere, my hand will be competing with yours in the container. Just saying.

Yanick Rice Lamb, co-founder and publisher of, teaches journalism at Howard University.

OK. Your turn to come clean. Share your guilty pleasure with us. We’d love to tell the world. Send an email to or comment below.