US. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has published its 2012 Airport Food Review, ranking the healthfulness of dining offers at top US airports.
From June to November 2012, PCRM dietitians reviewed restaurant menus at 18 of the busiest U.S. airports. Each airport’s score was determined by dividing the number of restaurants offering at least one healthful option by the total number of restaurants. Facilities that do not serve entrées, such as snack food kiosks and small coffee shops, were not included in the review.
A restaurant was rated as healthful if it served at least one low-fat, high-fibre, cholesterol-free breakfast, lunch, or dinner entrée.
Newark Liberty International Airport took first place with a 92% score. The PCRM lauded the airport’s new vegan options including a falafel sandwich at Mediterranean Bistro and a hummus wrap at Market Fresh. Other healthy options served at the airport include seaweed salad, cucumber rolls, vegetable rolls, asparagus rolls, vegetable gyoza, and yakko tofu at Hamachi Sushi, and a grilled veggie burrito at Qdoba Mexican Grill.
“It’s an impressive ascent for Newark, which has a turbulent past-bouncing between ninth place at its worst and third place at its best,” said the PCRM in its report.
Las Vegas McCarran and Detroit Metropolitan airports followed close behind in second and third place with 91% and 90% respectively.
The airport that ranked the lowest for healthy options was Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport which scored 58%, -13% lower than its 2011 score.
The PCRM’s 2012 Airport Food Review score table (source: PCRM)
The PCRM reports that healthy dining options in US airports have increased significantly since the Review started. In 2001, the average score in the Airport Food Review was 57%. This score has risen +19% to a 2012 average of 76%.
“Despite the variety of healthful options at many airports, high-fat, high-cholesterol foods are still abundant,” the report says. “Terminals at Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta are clogged with eateries serving hot dogs, fried chicken, and pizza. Many restaurants at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport offer only burgers or other greasy bar food.”
Chicago O’Hare International Airport is this year’s most improved. It scored 84%, gaining +13% from its 2011 score of 71%, while San Francisco International Airport lost the most points (-19%) from last year.
Click here to read the full Airport Food Review with notes on each airport.
In 2011 The Foodie Report interviewed PCRM Director of Nutrition Education Susan Levin about the Airport Food Review. Click here to read the full feature.
The PCRM Airport Food Review comparison table (source: PCRM)
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