Environmental determinants of obesity-associated morbidity risks for truckers

Yorghos Apostolopoulos, Sevil Sönmez, Mona Shattell, Michael H. Belzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine how the transportation environment triggers, exacerbates and sustains truckers' risks for obesity and associated morbidities. Design/methodology/approach - An extensive literature review of PubMed Central and TRANSPORT databases was conducted on truckers' obesity risks and 120 journal articles were identified for closer evaluation. From these, populations, exposures, and relevant outcomes were evaluated within the framework of the broad transportation environment. Findings - Connections between the transportation environment and truckers' risks for obesity-associated comorbidities were delineated, and an original conceptual framework was developed to illustrate links between the two. This framework addresses links not only between the transportation environment and trucker obesity risks but also with other health strains - applicable to other transport occupational segments. Moreover, it provides direction for preliminary environmental-scale interventions to curb trucker obesity. The utilization of this framework further underscores the need for: an appraisal of the health parameters of trucking worksites; assessment of truckers' obesity-risk trajectories, and examination of potential causality between the transportation environment, inactivity and diet-related morbidities; and the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions to mitigate trucker obesity. While there is a geographic emphasis on North America, data and assertions of this paper are applicable to trucking sectors of many industrialized nations. Originality/value - The paper brings to light the influences of the transportation environment on trucker obesity-associated morbidity risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-138
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Workplace Health Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Built environment
  • Commercial road vehicles
  • Corporate policies
  • Government policy
  • Obesity
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Regulations
  • Transportation
  • Truck drivers
  • United States of America
  • Work organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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