Are you a busy parent, a traveling salesman, or a truck driver who is always on the go and on the road? Usually, this situation is extremely stressful, and it can wreak havoc on your health and wellbeing, especially if you are failing to get proper and adequate nutrition. Research shows that as the amount of meals eaten away from home increases, so do total calories eaten, while nutritional quality decreases. Overtime, this can lead to an expanding waistline and more challenging times ahead.
This is an especially troubling scenario for long haul truck drivers. Truck drivers have one of the most important jobs in the world, which I feel is often misunderstood and overlooked. The semis you see on the highway on your way to work, causing you anger as they pass a slightly slower semi in the left lane, could be hauling the brand new office chair you ordered yesterday or the medication your best friend needs to fight his cancer bout. These men and woman are faced with health challenges every day – from forced sedentarism to being limited to the fast food joints at the nearest truck stop.
This is a really big problem. You see, according to the Bureau of Transportation Logistics, the U.S. transportation system is the largest in the world, serving more than 7 million domestic businesses and 288 million residents while employing 1 out of 7 U.S. workers. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, the prevalence of obesity is twice as high in long haul truck drivers as that of the national working population.
When I work with truck drivers and other individuals who spend the majority of their time behind the wheel, I encourage them and help them to not become part of this statistic. We work together through the challenges and frustrations of being on the road, and adapt strategies to stay healthy and feeling their best. If you are truck driver or other “on the go” person, try some of these tips:
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
USDA Economic Research Services
Centers for Disease Control and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Allison Tropf, MS, RD, CSSD
Allison is a Sports Dietitian in Michigan. She enjoys helping others reach their nutrition and fitness goals through reliable and trustworthy recommendations.
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