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Airport restaurants offering more healthy choices, group says

WASHINGTON—Airport food is getting healthier, a nutrition group reported Wednesday.

More than half the restaurants at 14 of the busiest U.S. airports offer at least one low-fat, cholesterol-free vegetarian option, according to a survey by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington-based nonprofit group that promotes healthy eating.

Travelers "will at least be able to find healthy vegetarian meals in most major airports," said Tim Radak, the committee's associate nutrition director.

Chicago's O'Hare airport, where slightly more than 9 out of 10 eateries offered healthy fare, topped the group's 2005 list. Detroit's Metropolitan, where 89 percent of the restaurants did so, came in second. Las Vegas' McCarran was last, with 42 percent.

Three-quarters of airport restaurants offered healthy options in 2005, compared with 56 percent in 2002, when the group did a similar survey.

The 2005 rankings and percentage scores, after Chicago and Detroit, are: San Francisco, 88; New York's JFK, 83; Dallas/Fort Worth, 81; Denver, 78; Atlanta, 77; Orlando, 76; Newark, 75; Phoenix, 75; Los Angeles, 69; Minneapolis/St. Paul, 68; Houston, 46; and Las Vegas, 42.

For more online on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and its airport food report, go to www.pcrm.org

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(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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