Friday, March 20, 2009

Follow up to article, comment on protein

Hello everyone,

I wanted to share a question forwarded by Pat Lombardi at the University of Oregon, who wondered why I'd stated that we "need lots of protein".

Knowing that our demographic tends to be busy, often tired, and reading these posts on layovers and in busy airports, I like to keep them short. Which is challenging, given a complicated scientific issue such as protein needs. But I am going to try.

My statement was based on what I learned in doing market research with pilots and flight attendants before launching Air Vitals, and learning about what habits they had and what habits they were willing to change.

Quite simply, it gets really boring to eat tuna and turkey and it's a whole lot easier to carry on, and snack on, the high-carbohydrate foods available in newstands at the terminals. Or, to eat a fast food meal that comes with a huge order of french fries, or a large frozen yogurt. Those are not the foods that are going to help your energy, or weight. Many flight attendants and pilots carry their own foods on trips so they don't have to eat airport food. They're sick and tired of it.

I said what I did about protein to challenge readers to start doing two things. First of all, to become familiar with protein sources available in the airport, such as cheese in a fruit dish, or sushi like I saw recently in LAX. Secondly, to think of portable protein foods such as peanut butter packets, string cheese, or jerky as recommended by Ivonne Berkowitz-Ward in the article (I'm partial to salmon jerky myself).

I was not intending to encourage anyone to overload on protein. I assume that most readers are intelligent and will make choices that do not overload them. I was trying to highlight an issue our market research said was important to address with this demographic without it becoming lengthy and impractical for the reader.

I really appreciate Pat's comments and hope everyone understands where I was going. I can do the heavily referenced scientific writing thing but it's not pretty to read and not what I believed this audience was looking for.

Comments are welcome and I'm really grateful Pat provided an opportunity to clarify! It's awesome when colleagues keep us on our toes! :)

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