A recent study reveals that airplane food still has a long way to go in the nutrition department. Diet Detective breaks it down, using nutrition information sent upon request and from airlines that make it available.
Some of the general highlights: Virgin America emerged as the clear winner, with healthier food in general. No airline (including Virgin) offers consistently healthy snack options. JetBlue and Delta tied for second. Over the last couple of years, individual foods hover around the 360-400 calorie mark.
Virgin: Total calories for the average meal has dropped by more than 70 calories to about 350 – a 15 percent reduction in just one year! Lists nutrition information for some but not all foods.
Delta: Average calories per meal much higher, around 512. Lists calories but not nutrient info. As Diet Detective notes, Delta's food varies quite a bit from flight to flight so it's a bit hard to assess them overall.
JetBlue: Average calories more in line with Virgin, around 330. They do post nutrition information for all their meals, and their snacks are packaged so contain nutrition info by default.
American: Meal calories still high, about 520, but snack calories have gone way down. Diet Detective notes that it would be great if their new merger with US Air meant an increased focus on the food.
The report analyzes many more airlines. For the most part, you're still probably better off packing your own food from home.
Have a look, let the airlines know what you think, and great reporting Diet Detective!