Gallery: Grease isn’t the word as Ipswich truckers are encouraged to try low-fat alternatives

FOR most lorry drivers a fat, greasy fry-up is the best way to start a long day on the road.

But now truckers are being encouraged to swap sizzling bacon for sensible salads at a popular A14 truck stop – and to make a U-turn to towards a healthier lifestyle.

Low-fat alternatives to traditional trucker breakfasts, including bacon butties with less salt, fat and lower calorie ingredients, were trialled yesterday morning at Orwell Crossing Lorry Park.

And Karl Rout, 53, who runs the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park admitted drivers need to start embracing a better diet after a trucker suffered a stroke in their car park last Monday.

“Serving healthier food is one of the things we aspired to when we opened in 2004,” he said.

“Just last week we had someone who suffered a stroke here. He wasn’t even that old.

“He parked overnight on Sunday but his firm phoned up Monday morning and asked if their lorry was still parked here.

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“I said I could see it but, when I checked on the driver, he was unresponsive.

“Emergency services rescued him and took him to hospital, and we heard the other day he is doing fine.

“But this shows the dangers there are for drivers.

“They have medicals every couple of years, but then we’ll notice that some suddenly start having salads. They say ‘We’re having our medical next month!’ but as soon as they have passed it they are back to normal.

“So I think the scheme is a good idea and we serve healthy options like fish and are speaking with our head chef on new ideas.”

After tasting the ‘fry-down’ breakfasts from the NuMe Healthier Goods Vehicle, truckers were given health MOTs at ‘Weigh-by’ health check clinics at Orwell Crossing, six miles from Felixstowe Port.

It included a body mass index check with one-to-one advice.

Simon Waspe, 41, from Stowmarket, a truck driver for 18 years, admits he finds it difficult to eat sensibly during his 12 to 15 hour shifts.

“I never get my five-a-day. You can take a bunch of bananas with you in the lorry but most of the time I’ll just grab a bacon roll to fill up,” he said.

“I find it really difficult on the road and I know some truck drivers who are hideously overweight.

“I think it’s eating rubbish food on the road. I just don’t have time for anything else.

“I’m worried about my health and I’ve put on a stone this year. I’ve had cancer twice, so I’d say I’ve got extra cause to worry.”

Research carried out by supermarket chain Morrisons, who launched the initiative, revealed nearly a third of UK truckers are obese or morbidly obese – higher than the national average. The survey also showed a limited choice of healthier food at service stations ranked as the highest reason for poor diets and high obesity levels.

n Have you gone to extra lengths to maintain a healthy diet? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starnews@archant.co.uk

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