The National Institutes of Health have spent a $2.6 million gubmint grant to help truckers lose weight. The average loss was less than eight pounds, over a six month period of time. For some insane reason, they’re proud of the work they did.
We all know obesity is a problem in the industry. It’s a problem in every industry, because it’s a national issue. Americans are getting fatter, and have been for quite some time now. It doesn’t take a gabillion-dollar study to come to this conclusion, just walk into a Walmart in any city in the country, and it’s extremely evident that a lot of people are struggling with weight issues.
I am in no way making light of the situation, the health risks associated with obesity are legion, and it’s a very real problem. I am questioning the amount of money spent to figure out how not to be fat. It’s not rocket science, although the NIH just spent a good portion of what it cost to put a man on the moon in 1969 to tell us how to lose eight pounds.
There are definitely complex reasons for our rotund rise, but the way to avoid it has and always will be the same. Eat less, exercise more. Make better choices when eating, forgo the second helping, drink water instead of Coke and park in the spaces furthest away from whatever destination you have, so you have to walk more to get to them. Dance in the shower, get your heart rate up a few times a day, do a couple of crunches in the bunk before you roll out and make every movement count, because a lot of us are limited in the amount of movement we actually get while on the truck.
I know when George is running hard, there are days we don’t leave the cab for 8 hours at a time, and I understand the fatigue that comes along with it, as I live it. I also know the fatigue is greatly reduced when we take that 30-minute break to walk around the parking lot a couple times instead of eating Little Debbies in the air-conditioned cab. Believe me, I’d rather eat Little Debbies in the air-conditioned cab, but I know the walk is necessary and Little Debbies are evil, so I choose to do what’s better for my body instead of what the three-year-old in my mind would have me do. Mind over matter — truckers do it every single day, and are some of the best at it, because trucking is more of a mind game than anything.
I would have liked to have seen that $2.6 million spent on education and training, or pretty much anything other than a study that says with support and guidance, people can lose eight pounds in six months. I think that was established about 50 years ago by a company called “Weight Watchers,” and it costs less than $20 a month to participate. It’s still one of the least expensive and most successful weight loss support groups there is, and that’s because the basic principals are the same as mentioned earlier: eat less, exercise more, make better food choices.
It ain’t rocket science, and it shouldn’t cost as much.