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      Food choice patterns of long-haul truck drivers driving through Germany, a cross sectional study

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          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.


          The working conditions of professional truck drivers make a healthy lifestyle difficult to follow and appear to influence food choices while working. Particular effort should be taken to improve food choice patterns, food preparation and purchasing possibilities during trips.

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          Most cited references 21

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          [Overweight and obesity in Germany: results of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults (DEGS1)].

          The increase in overweight and obesity is a worldwide health problem. The first wave of the "German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults" (DEGS1), conducted from 2008 through 2011, provides current data about overweight and obesity among adults in Germany. Within DEGS1, a representative sample of the 18- to 79-year-old population was interviewed with regard to health relevant issues and physically examined (n = 7,116). From measurements of body height and weight, the body mass index (BMI) was calculated, which was used to define overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m(2)) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2)). Results are stratified for gender, age group, socioeconomic status and region and compared with results from the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 (GNHIES98) and the National Examination Surveys 1990/92. According to DEGS1, 67.1% of men and 53.0% of women are overweight. The prevalence of overweight has not changed compared to GNHIES98. The prevalence of obesity, however, has risen substantially, especially among men: in GNHIES98, 18.9% of men and 22.5% of women were obese, in DEGS1, these figures were 23.3% and 23.9%, respectively. The increase in obesity occurred especially among young adults. An English full-text version of this article is available at SpringerLink as supplemental.
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            Obesity is associated with the future risk of heavy truck crashes among newly recruited commercial drivers.

            This study estimates the dose-response relationship between body mass index (BMI) and crash risk in operators of heavy commercial motor vehicles. Intake data were collected during the first two weeks of instruction from 744 new truck drivers training for their commercial driver's licenses at a school operated by the cooperating trucking firm. Drivers were then followed prospectively on the job using the firm's operational data for two years, or until employment separation, whichever came first. Multivariate Poisson regression and Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the relationship between crash risk and BMI, controlling for demographic characteristics and for variations in the exposure to risks on the road. Results from the Poisson regression, which used cumulative miles driven as an exposure control, indicated that compared to normal BMI (18.5
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              Commercial Driver Medical Examinations

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                Author and article information

                + 49 (0)711 459 24620 ,
                BMC Nutr
                BMC Nutr
                BMC nutrition
                BioMed Central (London )
                26 November 2019
                26 November 2019
                : 5
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2290 1502, GRID grid.9464.f, Department of Applied Nutritional Psycholoy, Institute of Nutritional Medicine, , University of Hohenheim, ; Fruwirthstr. 12, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2316 4305, GRID grid.5433.1, Daimler AG, ; Leibnitzstr. 2, 71032 Böblingen, Germany
                © The Author(s). 2019

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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