Doctors Rank Food at Airports Serving Winter Recreation Areas

The Physicians Committee
NEWS RELEASE December 27, 2016
Doctors Rank Food at Airports Serving Winter Recreation Areas
Reno-Tahoe International Airport Flies High; Vancouver Gets Lowest Score

WASHINGTON—Travelers headed to the nation’s winter recreation areas can find healthful food at major airports that are gateways to the snowy slopes. Winter vacationers who want to maintain high levels of energy and fend off colds should look for healthful, plant-based options, say doctors and dietitians with the Physicians Committee—a nonprofit of 12,000 doctors.

“Outdoor exercise in the winter months has many benefits, and the best foods to fuel your performance are plant-based,” says Karen Smith, R.D., senior dietitian for the Physicians Committee. “Foods like black bean burgers, pasta primavera, and Tuscan bean soup are packed with protein, carbohydrates, and antioxidants, and can keep you energized on the slopes or in the rink.”

Reno-Tahoe International Airport, gateway to Squaw Valley, Heavenly, and other ski resorts, earns the top score of 88 percent for healthful food. Health-conscious travelers can find tasty options including The Toasty Vegan Panini at the airport’s two Wild Garlic Pizza and Pub restaurants. Vancouver International Airport, accessing Whistler-Blackcomb, is the lowest-ranked airport due to the high number of fast-food outlets—at least 11—that offer artery-clogging burgers, chicken, and cheese.  

Airport Accessing Winter
Recreation Areas

Food Score


1. Reno-Tahoe International Airport


Healthful Restaurants/Total Restaurants: 7/8

Entrée for Winter Stamina: The Toasty Vegan Panini at the airport’s two Wild Garlic Pizza & Pub restaurants

2. Boston Logan International Airport


Healthful Restaurants/Total Restaurants: 47/56

Entrée for Winter Stamina: Vegetable Stir-Fry at Fresh City

3. Anchorage International Airport


Healthful Restaurants/Total Restaurants: 5/6

Entrée for Winter Stamina: Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad at Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse

4. Denver International Airport


Healthful Restaurants/Total Restaurants: 48/59

Entrée for Winter Stamina: Spaghetti with Garlic, Tomato, and Basil at Wolfgang Puck

5. Salt Lake City International Airport


Healthful Restaurants/Total Restaurants: 20/25

Entrée for Winter Stamina: Hummus and Veggie Panini at Millcreek Coffee Roasters

6. Vancouver International Airport


Healthful Restaurants/Total Restaurants: 28/40

Entrée for Winter Stamina: Fusilli Mushroom Marinara at BG Urban Café

Boston Logan International Airport, gateway to Ragged Mountain Resort and Mount Sunapee, lands in second place for healthful food this year with a score of 84 percent.

Anchorage International Airport, accessing the Alyeska resort, is in third place with a score of 83 percent. Denver International Airport, gateway to Vail and other top-notch resorts, ranks fourth for healthful food with a score of 81 percent. Salt Lake City International Airport, serving Snowbird and other resorts, lands in fifth place with a score of 80 percent.

The final percentage score for each airport divides the airport's number of restaurants serving health-conscious fare by its total number of restaurants. All information was collected by online searches. An airport restaurant receives a point if its menu includes at least one healthful, plant-based, high-fiber lunch or dinner entrée.

For an interview with Karen Smith, R.D. or another nutrition expert, please contact Jeanne McVey at 202-527-7316 or

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 and medical training.

Media Contact:
Jeanne Stuart McVey
202-527-7316 office
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