Healthiest airports for food options in the US

At Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, 58% of restaurants offer a healthy meal....

At Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, 58% of restaurants offer a healthy meal. (AFP PHOTO/Steve SCHAEFER)


, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Americans who feel that they have put on pounds over the Thanksgiving weekend will be relieved to learn that it's easier than ever to get a healthy meal in airports in the US.

For more than a decade, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has reviewed the food served at 18 of the country's busiest airports. In its 12th review, the PCRM has found that even if some airports have lost points from year to year, the overall trend is upwards, with more nutritious meals offered to passengers.

A group of dietitians reviewed menus, evaluating each airport with a score determined by dividing the number of restaurants offering at least one healthy option by the total number of restaurants. A meal is considered healthy if it has ingredients low in fat, high in fiber and cholesterol-free.

Only restaurants serving main dishes were evaluated, leaving aside snack kiosks and small coffee shops.

The overall winner this year is Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, with a 92% score as a healthy menu is offered in 56 of its 61 restaurants. Among the healthy options, passengers can buy falafel sandwiches as well as seaweed salad and vegetable rolls.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport featured as the most improved, jumping from 13th position in 2010 to fifth place. Earlier this year the airport announced the opening of a farmers' market which offers fresh locally grown food and other healthy snacks to passengers and airport employees.

With 58% of its restaurants offering a healthy meal, the busiest airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, comes in last this year. Despite its upscale airport sushi restaurant (One Flew South), most of the food at Hartsfield-Jackson consists of southern classics such as fried chicken, fried catfish and macaroni and cheese.

Complete list

1. Newark Liberty International Airport
2. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
3. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
4. Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
5. (tie) Chicago O'Hare International Airport
5. (tie) Miami International Airport
6. (tie) Orlando International Airport
6. (tie) Washington Dulles International Airport
6. (tie) Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
7. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
8. (tie) Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
8. (tie) Charlotte Douglas International Airport
9. (tie) San Francisco International Airport
9. (tie) Denver International Airport
10. (tie) Los Angeles International Airport
10. (tie) Baltimore/Washington International Airport
11. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
12. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport