Long-haul truck drivers are exposed to unfavorable working conditions affecting their health but information on truck drivers travelling through Europe is missing. The study aimed to describe the populations’ characteristics and food choice patterns while working compared with eating patterns at home, taking weight status into account.
A cross-sectional survey using questionnaires in 12 languages conducted at two truck stops in Germany.
Among 404 truck drivers of 24 nationalities, only 24% were normal weight while 46% were considered overweight and 30% obese. In regards to their health, more than half reported that they smoked and 32% reported at least one chronic disease. 37% ate their meals often or always at truck stops, while 6% never did so. The most common food items brought from home were fruits (62%) followed by sausages (50.6%), sandwiches (38.7%), self-cooked meals (37%), sweets (35.4%), and raw vegetables (31%). Bivariate analyses revealed differences in food choices during work and at home with more sausages, energy drinks and soft drinks, and canned foods eaten during trips. Fresh vegetables, legumes and fish were more often chosen at home. Available food appliances in trucks appeared to be associated with food choice patterns. Interestingly, food choice patterns and food preparation did not differ significantly across weight categories.