Airports Are Serving Healthy Options To Waiting Passengers

As an online cooking school student, you know how to design and prepare healthy meals for your diners. However, you might be surprised to learn that airport restaurants are doing the same thing. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), 76 percent of restaurants located inside 18 of the busiest airports in the U.S. now offer consumers at least one healthy plant-based entree. This is an increase from about a decade ago, when only an average of 57 percent of restaurants had nutritious options.

The leading airports
The top five airports each have higher than average percentages when it comes to healthy dining options. In fact, 79 percent of airport restaurants have at least one nutritious dish. The following is a ranking of the top healthiest airports, along with their percentage (some are tied):

  1. Denver International Airport (86 percent)
  2. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (85 percent)
  3. Los Angeles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (83 percent)
  4. Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport (80 percent)
  5. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (79 percent)

The PCRM judged restaurant health by looking for dishes that included two of the following food groups: fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.

Dallas/Fort Worth celebrates
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport celebrated its ranking by issuing a press release. The airport also began the Eat Healthy at DFW marketing campaign, which aims at encouraging more vendors to offer healthful dining options.

“Although we are very proud to be the fourth busiest airport in the world, we are equally as proud to be one of the healthiest,” said Ken Buchannan, executive vice president of revenue management at DFW, said in a statement.

They hope to one day reach 100 percent involvement.

Making progress
Though more airport restaurants are offering at least one healthy option, progress is still slow. The PCRM report did not account for vendors selling numerous nutritious dishes, so it lacks the ability to asses the health of airports in-depth. However, if airports such as Dallas/Fort Worth press their vendors to diversify their menus, the percentage may increase. Again, this would not account for restaurants offering multiple healthy options.

Some of the issue could be that vendors don’t have as much reason to increase their offerings. Competition inside of an airport is relatively static, as passengers generally use an airport because of it’s proximity to their home or destination. If each restaurant has one option, diners can eat anywhere. However, providing diverse dishes entice passengers to eat at one restaurant over another.

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