Lifestyle counseling in overweight truck and bus drivers: Effects on dietary patterns and physical activity

Jatta Puhkala, Katriina Kukkonen-Harjula, Minna Aittasalo, Kirsi Mansikkamäki, Markku Partinen, Christer Hublin, Paula Kärmeniemi, Mikael Sallinen, Seppo Olkkonen, Kari Tokola, Anna Ojala, Clas-Håkan Nygård, Mikael Fogelholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We studied dietary patterns, physical activity (PA), and monthly goal setting in a weight reduction intervention in long-distance professional drivers. The study was conducted in Finland in 2009–2012. Male drivers with waist circumference >100cm were randomized to a lifestyle counseling (LIFE, N=55) and a reference (REF, N=58) group. During 12months, LIFE participated in 6 face-to-face and 7 telephone counseling sessions on diet and PA. Dietary patterns were assessed using an index combining food diary and counselor interview, and PA with the number of daily steps using a pedometer. Monthly lifestyle goals, perceived facilitators and barriers, and adverse effects of PA in the LIFE participants were monitored using counselors' log books. Forty-seven (85%) LIFE participants completed the 12-month program. After 12months, the mean dietary index score improved by 12% (p=0.002, N=24), and the number of daily steps increased by 1811 steps (median; p=0.01, N=22). The most frequent dietary goals dealt with meal frequency, plate model, and intake of vegetables, fruits, and berries. The most common PA mode was walking. Typical facilitators to reach monthly lifestyle goals were support from family and friends and ailment prevention; typical barriers were working schedules and ailments. Adverse effects, most commonly musculoskeletal pain, occurred among 83% of the LIFE participants. Positive changes in lifestyle habits were observed during counseling. Monthly lifestyle counseling combining face-to-face and phone contacts seemed appropriate to long-distance drivers. Barriers for reaching lifestyle changes, and adverse effects of PA were common and need to be addressed when planning counseling. Trial registration: Clinical Trials NCT00893646
Original languageEnglish
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Pages (from-to)435 - 440
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Automobile driving, Male, life style, Counseling, Walking, Diet
  • 3141 Health care science
  • 416 Food Science

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