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The Physicians Committee



Detroit Flies High in Airport Food Review

family in airport terminalHoliday travelers with layovers in Detroit, San Francisco, Phoenix, and other busy hubs will easily find healthful, cholesterol-free vegetarian meals, according to PCRM’s 2009 Airport Food Review. The report also finds that all three airports serving the nation’s capital—Dulles International, Washington National, and Baltimore/Washington International—are among the lowest-ranking airports for healthful options.

PCRM dietitians examined food served at 17 of the nation’s busiest airports and found that 79 percent of airport restaurants now offer at least one low-fat, high-fiber vegetarian entrée. In the nine-year history of the Airport Food Review, this is the first time an airport—Detroit’s Metropolitan Wayne County—has scored 100 percent. San Francisco is this year’s most improved airport, rising to 94 percent from 77 percent last year.

“Greasy airport food is often as big a pain for travelers as long lines or baggage fees,” says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition education for PCRM. “Low-fat, high-fiber vegetarian meals can help prevent many common health problems, and healthy eating can even make passengers feel less frazzled.” According to findings recently presented at the annual American Public Health Association conference, meatless meals can decrease tension and improve mood.

PCRM nutritionists gave each restaurant a point if its menu included at least one low-fat, cholesterol-free vegetarian entrée. The final percentage score was derived by dividing the airport’s number of restaurants serving health-conscious fare by its total number of restaurants.

Airport

Score

Healthful Restaurants/
Total Restaurants

1. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

100%

54/54

2. San Francisco International Airport

94%

60/64

3. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

87%

54/62

4. Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport

86%

49/57

5. Newark Liberty International Airport

85%

58/68

6. (tie) Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

83%

50/60

6. (tie) Orlando International Airport

83%

39/47

7. (tie) Denver International Airport

80%

45/56

7. (tie) Los Angeles International Airport

80%

45/56

8. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

77%

75/97

9. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

76%

65/86

10. Miami International Airport

72%

28/39

11. Baltimore/Washington International Airport

71%

27/38

12. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

70%

23/33

13. (tie) Chicago O’Hare International Airport

68%

64/94

13. (tie) Washington Dulles International Airport

68%

23/34

14. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport

66%

38/58

To read the complete 2009 Airport Food Review, visit PCRM.org/Health.



Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.
Susan Levin, M.D., R.D.


PCRM Online, December 2009

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