Journal article

Health initiatives to target obesity in surface transport industries: review and implications for action

Freight Obesity Chronic diseases Work environment Evidence-based policy Occupational health and safety Australia New Zealand
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Lifestyle-related chronic diseases pose a considerable burden to the individual and the wider society, with correspondingly negative effects on industry. Obesity is a particular problem for the Australasian road and rail industries where it is associated with specific cardiac and fatigue-related safety risks, and levels are higher than those found in the general population. Despite this recognition, and the introduction of National Standards, very little consensus exists regarding approaches to preventative health for surface transport workers. A review of evidence regarding effective health promotion initiatives is urgently needed to inform best practice in this cohort. This review draws together research informing the scope and effectiveness of health promotion programs, initiatives and interventions targeting overweight and obesity in safety critical surface transport domains including the truck, bus and rail industries. A number of health interventions demonstrated measurable successes, including incentivising, peer mentoring, verbal counselling, development of personalised health profiles, and offer of healthier on-site food choices – some of which also resulted in sizeable return on investment over the long term.


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