Report highlights junk food as cause of dangerous driving

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Junk food has been identified by research as a cause of dangerous driving among truck drivers.

The report in Occupational & Environmental Medicine claim that those on a poor diet suffer more from fatigue.

There are a number of factors blamed for the 1.35 million deaths on UK roads every year.

For example, gender, age, experience, driving skills and attitude have all been cited in the past as causes of collisions. 

However, this research suggest that the lifestyle of long-distance drivers also has a major impact.

For their studies, researchers analysed a sample of 389 male truck drivers from one transport operator in Suzhou, China.

Most of the drivers were aged between 31 and 60 and had between six and 10 years’ experience behind the wheel.

In addition, drivers were chosen who covered an average of between 50,000 and  100,000 kilometres a year.

Each driver was asked how often they ate 25 different food items and how much of each they ate.

Not all were junk food items – the categories were: vegetable-rich; staple foods; animal proteins and snacks.

Furthermore, they all completed a fatigue test and two surveys on driving behaviour and attitudes towards other drivers.

The authors found that lorry drivers with healthier dietary habits tend to engage in more “positive driving behaviours”.

Specifically, those who had vegetable-rich and staple diets were associated with safe driving behaviours.

Drivers who ate junk food such as fried items and desserts were less likely to have positive driving behaviour.

In addition, dietary patterns were linked to participants levels of fatigue. 

Therefore, those who consumed high levels of vegetables and staple foods less likely to suffer fatigue.

Concluding, the authors stated that ‘the results of this study support a relationship between dietary patterns and driving behaviour’.

Junk food blamed for dangerous truck driving

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