Truck drivers who eat poorly – like the fried foods that make up the traditional trucker’s breakfast – may be worse behind the wheel than those who eat healthy, a new study suggests.
Junk food diets and unhealthy snacks could contribute to fatigue, which can lead to dangerous driving, scientists suggested.
A new study published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine looked at the driving behavior of nearly 400 male truck drivers. The eating habits and the level of fatigue of the drivers were also taken into account.
Most drivers who worked for a transportation company in Suzhou, China, had around six to ten years’ experience.
They drove an average of 50,000 to 100,000 kilometers per year.
The authors found that truck drivers with healthier eating habits tend to show “more positive driving behavior”.
Drivers who ate fried foods, desserts, and sweet drinks were less likely to drive positively.
The eating patterns were linked to the levels of fatigue in the participants – with those who consumed a lot of vegetables and staple foods less likely to suffer from fatigue.
The Beijing authors wrote: “The present study found that truck drivers with a healthy eating pattern reported more positive driving behavior, while those who consumed more fast food, fatty and sweet foods reported more dangerous driving behavior.
“Fatigue played a mediating role between eating patterns and driving behavior.
“Truck drivers could eat healthier diets to reduce fatigue, which would likely improve driving safety.”