Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds Foundation (HHTS) today announced the commencement of a Nutrition Pilot Program, endeavouring to educate, raise awareness and encourage longer-term healthy eating among truck drivers.
The project has been developed in partnership with Nutrition Australia in response to poor health outcomes among drivers, in particular, a recent study by Monash University highlighted that 70% of drivers surveyed did not meet the guidelines for a healthy and balanced diet.
The pilot focuses on heavy vehicle drivers and will run over a period of four months. During this period, HHTS will deliver educational content across social media platforms, the HHTS website and via existing partners who operate in road transport, warehousing and logistics. This content has been designed to raise awareness about healthier choices and the benefits of healthier eating for both physical and mental health outcomes. Also, offering practical tips and suggestions about making small but meaningful changes gradually.
To accompany this, 29 bp service centres across Australia are offering freshly cooked healthier meals, 24 hours a day, catering to the needs of those working in the logistics industries. The menu will be permanently available at these sites and has had input from Nutrition Australia.
HHTS Director Industry Relations and Program Management, Melissa Weller said: “we want to take small incremental steps toward improving understanding of how to make better choices when it comes to what truck drivers are consuming and demonstrate how these minor changes can make major and lasting improvements to overall health.”
A questionnaire has been designed to capture baseline data and measure changes in participants’ awareness and behaviours. Currently, more than 40 truck drivers have completed a pre-program survey and in December will complete a post-program survey. At the conclusion of the pilot, HHTS and Nutrition Australia will evaluate the results of the program.
Nutrition Australia CEO, Lucinda Hancock said: “more than three million Australians are living with anxiety or depression. Research shows that by changing the food we eat, we can have a significant positive impact on our mood and mental health. The pilot aims to increase the driver’s awareness of healthy eating and influence their eating behaviours more broadly. By making small changes to what we eat on a day-to-day basis, we can reap many positive health benefits.”
Mrs Weller said: “the long-term goal is to roll out a national program that spans across the broader logistics industry, including warehousing and distribution centres where we can continue to share educational information, but also, influence on-site canteen suppliers and increase access to
For a limited time, users of the Healthy Heads App will receive an instant $5 discount on the curated menu of healthier meal choices at participating bp service centres. The app is free to download on iOS or Android and includes a list of participating bp sites.