A Clinical Trial on Weight Loss among Truck Drivers

MS Thiese, AC Effiong, U Ott, DG Passey, ZC Arnold, BB Ronna, PA Muthe, EM Wood, MA Murtaugh


Background: The high prevalence of obesity among commercial truck drivers may be related to sedentary nature of the job, lack of healthy eating choices, and lack of exercise. There may be a link between obesity and crash risk, therefore an intervention to reduce obesity in this population is needed.

Objective: To assess feasibility of a 12-week weight loss intervention for truck drivers with a weight loss goal of 10% of initial body weight.

Methods: Drivers were selected based on age (≥21 years) and body mass index (≥30 kg/m2). The drivers participated in a before-after clinical trial. The intervention included a 12-week program that provided information on healthy diet and increasing exercise, and telephone-based coaching using SMART goals. Outcomes included change from baseline in reported energy intake, measured weight, waist, hip, and neck circumference, blood pressure, and point of care capillary blood lipids and hemoglobin A1c. Exit interviews were conducted to gain insight into driver opinions on the program features and usefulness. This study was registered with the NIH Clinical Trials Registry, number NCT02348983.

Results: 12 of 13 drivers completed the study. Weight loss was statistically significant (p=0.03). Reported energy (p=0.005), total fat consumption (p=0.04), and saturated fat consumption (p=0.02) intake were also lower after the 12-week intervention. Drivers attributed their weight loss to health coaching and suggested a longer intervention so that they could reach their goal and become accustomed to the changes.

Conclusion: This weight loss intervention is feasible for this difficult population. Additional research is needed to compare this intervention with a control group.


Motor vehicles; Obesity; Health education; Occupational health; Workplace; Nutrition therapy

doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2015.551

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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