Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Obesity among over-the-road truckers (OTRs) is an epidemic creating significant public health issues among this population. The consequences of obesity (hypertension, diabetes, heart disease) put both truckers' health and their medical clearance at significant risk. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of gender, physical activity, diet, and sleep on obesity among OTRs. Through a socioecological lens, this study examined whether obesity is significantly impacted by gender, physical activity, nutrition, and sleep. This study also examined the impact of the trucking environment on obesity. The study used a quantitative research design and data were collected through a national online survey. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the sample. The final sample size analyzed consisted of 105 adult men and women. The findings of the research questions were that the source of food for truckers impacted obesity. Truckers who got their food from truck stops and restaurants had a higher incidence of obesity than those who got their food from grocery stores. In addition, those truckers who consumed most or all of their meals/food on the road had higher levels of obesity than those who consumed most or all of their meals in a home environment. In this study, gender was a compelling variable, as women had twice the rate of obesity as men; however, there were more women than men who participated in the study. Limitations included small sample size, unequal gender distribution, and limited ability to advertise the study. Helping the trucking industry understand what contributes to obesity could be the key to creating positive social change through health policy development and implementation. This in turn has the potential to create a healthier workforce in the trucking industry.