This airline has the absolute worst food (for health-conscious passengers)

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Social media editor & Drone Reporter

If you’re hoping for that beach body during your Hawaiian vacation, you’ll probably want to avoid any of the airplane food on the way there.

Hawaiian Airlines ranks the worst for serving unhealthy meals in a new survey of airline food. The results of the survey, done by Charles Platkin, director of the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College, were published in the Annual Airline Food Investigation. The survey looked at major North American airlines and found that Delta DAL, +0.41%   and Virgin America serve among the healthiest food options, while Hawaiian Airlines HA, +0.86% Spirit SAVE, +0.67%   and Allegiant ALGT, -1.55%  offer the worst.

To determine the ranking, Platkin factored in not just calories per menu choice, but also nutrients, taste, cost, nutritional transparency and sustainability. Here’s how the major airlines scored, on a scale of 1 to 5:

Airline Ranking (on a scale of 1 to 5)
Delta 4
Virgin America 4
Air Canada 3.75
JetBlue 3.75
Alaska Air 3.5
United Airlines 2.75
American 2.5
Frontier Air 2.25
Southwest Airlines 2
Allegiant Air 1.75
Spirit Airlines 1.75
Hawaiian Airlines 1
Annual Airline Food Investigation

So why does Hawaiian Airlines rank so low? It mostly comes down to high calorie counts and lack of transparency. According to the study, the food served on the flight between New York and Honolulu — stir-fried chicken with vegetables, fruit, cheese, crackers and AlohaMac Chocolate — will clock in at 1,480 calories.

Also see: The world’s worst airline may also have the grossest in-flight meal

In contrast, Delta, the top-ranked airline, offers westbound passengers a meal that consists of a sesame noodle salad with chicken and veggies and is served with a Godiva chocolate. That clocks in at just 345 calories.

Calories in airline meals are going up across the board. The average number of calories per menu choice was 360 in 2012, while this year it was 405 calories, according to the survey.

See the complete rankings of each airline’s food items in the full report here.

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