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Dietitians Rank Detroit Metro Airport As Third Healthiest In Nation

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Detroit Metro Airport (WWJ Photo/Beth Fisher)

Detroit Metro Airport (WWJ Photo/Beth Fisher)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit Metropolitan Airport has been ranked as the third healthiest airport in the nation, accorind to the 2012 Airport Food Review.

Dietitians with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) surveyed restaurant meals at 18 major airports in more than a dozen states for the report. They gave each restaurant a point if its menu included at least one low-fat, high-fiber, cholesterol-free vegetarian entrée. The final percentage score was derived by dividing the airport’s number of restaurants serving health-conscious fare by its total number of restaurants.

Detroit Metro Airport loses 10 points and drops from first to third place this year. The report found that more than 90 percent of the restaurants in Metro Airport offer at least one high-fiber, plant-based option. Travelers can load up on seaweed salad and vegetable sushi at Musashi or visit Mediterranean Grill for tabbouleh, hummus, vegetarian grape leaves, vegetable stir fry, almond rice salad, and a fruit plate.

“Healthful vegetarian meals at airports across the country are just the ticket for traveling light,” Susan Levin, PCRM director of nutrition education, said in a statement. “But some airports still serve too many greasy cheeseburgers and slices of pepperoni pizza that leave passengers feeling grounded.”

Newark Liberty International Airport ranks at the top of the 2012 report for the first time with a score of 92 percent. It’s a dramatic improvement from 2003, when just 60 percent of its restaurants offered a healthful option.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport makes the most impressive gain, with a 13-point increase in the number of restaurants offering a healthy option. Las Vegas made an 8-point improvement over last year. San Francisco International Airport was the biggest loser, with a 19-point decrease from last year’s score. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson lost 13 points this year and remains in last place with a score of 58 percent.

Here’s how other airports around the country ranked:

1. Newark Liberty International Airport
Airport Score 92% — 56 healthful restaurants out of a total of 61 restaurants

2. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
Airport Score 91% – 49 healthful restaurants out of a total of 54 restaurants

3. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Airport Score 90% — 52 healthful restaurants out of a total of 58 restaurants

4. Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Airport Score 87% — 53 healthful restaurants out of a total of 61 restaurants

5. (tie) Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Airport Score 84% – 81 healthful restaurants out of a total of 97 restaurants

5. (tie) Miami International Airport
Airport Score 84% – 63 healthful restaurants out of a total of 75 restaurants

6. (tie) Orlando International Airport
Airport Score 82% — 36 healthful restaurants out of a total of 44 restaurants

6. (tie) Washington Dulles International Airport
Airport Score 82% – 32 healthful restaurants out of a total of 39 restaurants

6. (tie) Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Airport Score 82% – 49 healthful restaurants out of a total of 60 restaurants

7. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Airport Score 81% — 76 healthful restaurants out of a total of 94 restaurants

8. (tie) Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
Airport Score 78% — 51 healthful restaurants out of a total of 65 restaurants

8. (tie) Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Airport Score 78% – 35 healthful restaurants out of a total of 45 restaurants

9. (tie) San Francisco International Airport
Airport Score 77% — 53 healthful restaurants out of a total of 69 restaurants

9. (tie) Denver International Airport
Airport Score 77% – 47 healthful restaurants out of a total of 61 restaurants

10. (tie) Los Angeles International Airport
Airport Score 76% – 38 healthful restaurants out of a total of 50 restaurants

10. (tie) Baltimore/Washington International Airport
Airport Score 76% – 29 healthful restaurants out of a total of 38 restaurants

11. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Airport Score 69% – 24 healthful restaurants out of a total of 35 restaurants

12. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Airport Score 58% – 45 healthful restaurants out of a total of 78 restaurants

The number of airport restaurants offering healthful foods has increased from 2001, when PCRM’s inaugural airport food review found just 57 percent of airport eateries offering at least one healthful option.

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