Las Vegas Slides in Rankings; Ronald Reagan Washington National Makes Big Gains
WASHINGTON—More than 100 million travelers passing through airports this holiday season can find a healthful meal in most terminals: 76 percent of restaurants in 18 of the nation’s busiest airports offer at least one cholesterol-free, plant-based entrée, according to a new report from the nonprofit Physicians Committee. But healthful food choices remain harder to find in some airports, including Las Vegas McCarran International and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The number of airport restaurants offering healthful nutrient-packed foods, such as leafy green salads, red pepper veggie wraps, and black bean burgers, continues to increase from 2001, when the Physicians Committee’s inaugural airport food review found just 57 percent of airport eateries offering at least one healthful option.
Denver International Airport soars to the top of the 2013 report for the first time since 2003 with a score of 86 percent. It’s a dramatic improvement from 2001, when just 61 percent of its restaurants offered a high-fiber, plant-based option.
“We’re finding more and more people continue to opt for healthful plant-based vegetarian options,” says Physician Committee director of nutrition education Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D. “Everyone wants to maximize their health, beat the flu, and be in a better mood—and they realize their diet can help make all of this happen.”
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport makes the most impressive gain this year, with a 14-point increase, and ties with Los Angeles International as the third healthiest airport.
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport takes a nosedive, with a 23-point decrease from last year’s score, moving the airport from second to second-to-last place. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson loses 7 points and finishes last with a score of 51 percent.
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.