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Truckers News Staff | December 01, 2010

Bad Health Doesn’t Come With the Job

This is my response to Daryl Osborn from Hillsboro, N.D., about the body mass index issue:

Let’s face it, we’re not all “fat boys and girls,” it’s not our line of work and if you do eat right and exercise your BMI will go down. You don’t have to sit for 11 straight hours, and the food out here doesn’t make it impossible to keep your BMI down. You don’t have to walk down the 14-foot-long, 163-types-of-high-sugar-candy aisle (if you stood there long enough to count the candy selection you had enough time to exercise). You don’t have to eat the brownies, cakes and cookies. It’s called temptation; mind over matter.

You also don’t have to drink 97 percent of what’s in the drink coolers when you’re thirsty. They do have what’s called diet sodas, Gatorade, juices, unsweetened tea and — oh, yeah — water. When you spend your $5.99 on a salad bar ask for low-fat dressing. Don’t stop at McDonald’s or wherever, go to Subway and order a veggie sub for $5. Subways are everywhere, so you won’t have any problem finding them. You also don’t have to put sugar in your oatmeal or jelly on your toast.

You say, “the jobs we choose promote no control over BMI.” I say that’s crap. We have 10-hour breaks and 34-hour restarts. The average person doesn’t sleep 10 hours a day. So when you wake up, get out of the truck and stretch, walk around for a half-hour breather in the fresh air and enjoy the world around you for a moment. If you do this, guess what: You’re exercising by walking. When you get to the truckstops or restaurants park in the back row and walk inside, and once again you just exercised. When lying in bed try doing a couple sit-ups. It is not impossible to exercise, which will get you healthier and lower your BMI. As a type 2 diabetic 60 pounds overweight, you need exercise because you are putting yourself at risk for a heart attack.

I’m sorry you have to pay more for insurance, and I’m glad you pay your taxes and do what’s right, but the government is never going to simply leave us alone and let us do our jobs. None of us is “trying to keep up with the Joneses,” we’re just trying to survive. You say bad government, bad changes and bad secretary of transportation. To me, bad government, yes; bad change, no, because I would like to see healthier drivers as well. How would you feel if your family was driving beside a truck when the driver fell asleep because of sleep apena?

You say it’s what you do between life and death that determines happiness; but isn’t it your health that determines how long you get to enjoy it? You also ask who has the right to decide that having health care is a right and BMI should determine where you work or don’t work; you say that only a dictator makes these decisions. To me, having health care and a healthy BMI is just good, common sense.

With all this said, for the truck drivers out there who are worried about losing their jobs, getting laid off or being disqualified because of their BMI, go on a diet, start eating right and for Pete’s sake, exercise!

Joey Lemon

Memphis, Tenn.


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How do you think the U.S. midterm election results will impact the trucking industry?

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Republicans want to do to help their friends in big business. Gut the EPA, OSHA, FDA, BLM, etc. … All in the name of a better economy. (Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge.)

— Rick R.

Mess it up more than it already is. Probably more restrictions or harder to make money, harder than it already is!

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