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NEWS RELEASE November 18, 2008

Dallas, Detroit, and Chicago Top List of Airports with Most Healthful Food, Report Finds

Low-Fat Vegetarian Options Now Widely Available, but Las Vegas and Atlanta Lag Behind; Ronald Reagan Washington National Is Most Improved

WASHINGTON—Holiday travelers should have little trouble finding a healthful meal in many of the nation's busiest airports, according to a new report from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). But PCRM’s report, now in its eighth year, also found that airports in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Washington lag far behind.

PCRM dietitians found that 80 percent of the airport restaurants surveyed offer at least one low-fat, cholesterol-free vegetarian entrée, making this the third year in a row with such a high score. The survey examined food served at 15 of the busiest airports in the country.

Some airports are much better than others. Travelers with a layover in Dallas, Detroit, or Chicago will have no trouble finding a healthful meal. But those traveling through Las Vegas or Atlanta will have to look much harder: Las Vegas McCarran International and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International both scored near the bottom of PCRM’s report.

"Travelers looking for healthy food should choose vegetarian options, which are naturally low in artery-clogging saturated fat and high in fiber," says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., a PCRM dietitian. "Even in the lowest ranking airports, it’s easy to find a bean burrito or a veggie burger."

Ninety-five percent of the restaurants at both Dallas/Fort Worth International and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County offer at least one healthful option. At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, the figure is 67 percent. Although Ronald Reagan Washington National’s score is a dismal 60 percent, it made the largest improvement this year, gaining 18 points. 

PCRM dietitians gave each restaurant a point if its menu included at least one low-fat, high-fiber, 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

Healthy Restaurants/Total Restaurants

1. (tie) Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

95%

86/91

1. (tie) Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

95%

59/62

2. Chicago O’Hare International Airport

88%

78/89

3. Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport

83%

50/60

4. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

82%

50/61

5. Los Angeles International Airport

81%

48/59

6. Denver International Airport

79%

38/48

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

77%

46/60

7. (tie) San Francisco International Airport

77%

47/61

8.  Orlando International Airport

76%

29/38

9. (tie) Miami International Airport

75%

24/32

9. (tie) Newark Liberty International Airport

75%

53/71

10. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport

71%

41/58

11. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

67%

56/83

12.  Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

60%

18/30

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.



Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey
202-527-7316
jeannem@pcrm.org

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

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Phone: 202-686-2210     Email: pcrm@pcrm.org