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“Our research shows that 86 percent of truckers are overweight, while 55 percent are obese,” says Whitfield, a registered dietitian, “compared to statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control that state that Americans are 66 percent overweight and 33 percent obese.”
Whitfield says this news for the more than 3 million OTR truckers ranks as a crisis with the potential of worsening if nothing’s done. Whitfield’s coauthor Don Jacobson, author of a number of outdoor cookbooks, including The One Pan Gourmet, says while there is no shortage of advertised “quick fixes” to truckers’ weight problems, the “fix” may not be as healthy as it appears. “These ads may be light on your wallet, but they won’t fix any problems long-term,” Jacobson says.
Both Whitfield and Jacobson want Roadcookin’ to serve as a tool to show truckers that becoming healthy can’t result from such a fix; it’s something that takes time but is worth it in the end.
Toward that end, Roadcookin’ encourages modified meal plans along with recipes designed for in-cab preparation. The book also features a 28-day meal plan of menus and shopping lists.
All recipes are written as a single serving and include nutritional information. “Our target was to build meal plans that anyone could cook in a lunch-box oven, slow cooker or fry pan and end up with around 2,000 calories per day,” Jacobson says.
Whitfield says eating regular, moderately sized meals is the key to becoming healthy. “Lots of truckers eat one big meal a day,” she says. “We encourage eating three meals a day. In fact, the number one cause of Type 2 diabetes is not eating regularly throughout the day.”
One thing truckers may not realize, Whitfield says, is many truckstop restaurants serve items that are grilled, a much healthier option than fried. The only problem, she says, is that truckers neglect to ask for their food this way. “Just ask them and they will be happy to accommodate,” she says.
Roadcookin’ is $16.99 and is available through www.roadcookin.com or www.amazon.com. Readers of Truckers News are eligible for a $2 discount at the book’s main site; just enter the code TNEWS. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.