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1.07.2006

Airport Food Nutrition Has Improved

Airport Food Has Improved,
Survey Shows

Most Major Hubs Offer More Low-Fat, Cholesterol-Free Vegetarian Choices, with Chicago in First Place
and Phoenix Most Improved

WASHINGTON--In time for holiday travel, nutritionists with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) surveyed 14 of the nation's busiest airports for the availability of healthy entrees. The report shows that in 2005, airport food has improved from previous years, with 12 percent more airport eateries providing at least one vegetarian entree that is low in fat, high in fiber, and cholesterol free.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport flies high in first place this year with a score of 92 percent, rising from fourth place last year and the bottom of the list in 2002. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is this year's most improved airport with a score that rose from 44 percent last year to 75 percent in the current survey. Las Vegas McCarren International, while improving nine points from last year, still sits on the tarmac with the lowest score, 42 percent.

"Holiday travelers facing flight delays or long layovers will at least be able to find healthy vegetarian meals in most major airports," says Tim Radak, Dr.P.H., R.D., associate nutrition director at PCRM. "As a nutritionist, I know that grabbing a veggie burger can help travelers stay trim and improve their health."

PCRM nutritionists evaluated the restaurants in 14 of the nation's busiest airports, giving each restaurant a point if its menu included at least one low-fat, high-fiber, cholesterol-free vegetarian entree. The final percentage score was derived by dividing the airport's number of health-conscious restaurants by the total number of restaurants.

AIRPORT
SCORE
1. Chicago O'Hare
92%
2. Detroit Metropolitan
89%
3. San Francisco
88%
4. New York
83%
5. Dallas/Fort Worth
81%
6. Denver
78%
7. Atlanta
77%
8. Orlando
76%
9. Newark
75%
10. Phoenix
75%
11. Los Angeles
69%
12. Minneapolis-St. Paul
68%
13. Houston
46%
14. Las Vegas
42%

But even the top-rated airports have significant room for improvement. Some airports have no more than a single healthy choice, and more variety would be good. The best choices are low fat and vegetarian.

For a copy of the full report or an interview with a nutrition scientist, please contact Jeanne S. McVey at 202-686-2210, ext. 316, or jeannem@pcrm.org.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, especially good nutrition. PCRM also conducts clinical research studies, opposes unethical human experimentation, and promotes alternatives to animal research.

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Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20016
Phone: 202-686-2210 | E-mail: pcrm@pcrm.org

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