Case study of a healthy eating intervention for Swedish lorry drivers

Health Educ Res. 2004 Jun;19(3):306-15. doi: 10.1093/her/cyg030.

Abstract

Professional drivers, i.e. lorry, truck, bus and taxi drivers, have been identified as a particular health risk group. An intervention to study the efficacy of a series of educational programmes, involving improved nutritional balance in meals served, food preparation routines and carrying out personal health profiles on staff, was implemented at a Swedish truck stop in order to target this specific hard-to-reach risk group. Professional drivers were targeted through an information campaign, healthier 'Today's Special' choices and by using staff as proxy health promoters. A campaign emblem on the menu notice board indicated healthier food choice menu items. Drivers choosing healthier alternatives were given lottery tokens. The intervention was evaluated through nutritional analyses, field observations, questionnaires and interviews. Positive staff-level outcomes included increased nutritional awareness, personal health empowerment and, most crucially, overwhelming staff support for a health-promoting role. Nutritional analysis of pre- and post-intervention 'Today's Specials' showed a better balance of fat, calories, carbohydrates and protein (per 100 g) content in the dishes tested. At management level there were economic benefits in terms of time savings and reduced use of cooking fat in food preparation. Drivers tended to choose healthier alternatives and there was increased awareness of the healthier alternatives on offer. The case study showed that using truck stop staff as proxy health promoters offers a viable intervention strategy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diet*
  • Food Preferences*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Sciences / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Workplace