What Truckers Really Want: Salads

...says this article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 107, Issue 12, December 2007, Pages 2125-2129


Long-haul truckers are confined, by parking regulations and other constraints, to dining at truck-stop restaurants. Objectives were to (a) compare truckers’ anthropometrics with recommended guidelines; and (b) assess eating/exercise habits, importance of healthful food choices, and attitudes about restaurants’ provision of healthful options. Hypotheses were: (a) overweight/obese drivers will place less importance on healthful food choices than will drivers of optimal weight; (b) importance of healthful food choices and attitudes about their provision will be positively correlated. Questionnaires included Food Choices Index, Nutrition Attitude Survey, and demographic information; bioelectrical impedance assessed weight, body fat, and body mass index. Subjects (n=92) were truckers at a Midwestern truck-stop restaurant; 79 were overweight, 52 were obese. Mean rating of importance of healthful choices was above average. There was no difference in importance of healthful food choices for overweight/obese and optimal weight drivers, t(89)=−1.312; P=0.19. Drivers placing more importance on healthful food choices had more positive attitudes about restaurants’ provision of such options, r(90)=0.74, P<0.001. Overall, drivers indicated they would choose healthful foods if available and appetizing. Registered dietitian-directed wellness programs that include education, support, and cooperation of truck-stop restaurants are critical to reduce obesity and risk of disease in this population.


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