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Free healthy breakfasts will help Cumbrian truckers lose weight

Free breakfasts were handed out to truckers in Carlisle, as part of a campaign to take the ‘heavy’ out of HGV.

Healthy breakfasts photo
Development chefs for Morrisons Paul Holinski, left and Robert Craggs

Hungry drivers expecting a full fry-up were disappointed though, as the chefs were only preparing a “fry down” – otherwise known as a healthy breakfast.

Low salt bacon – with the fat cut off – was cooked on a griddle, instead of in oil, and served in a wholemeal roll with margarine.

While some visiting truckers at the Night Owl truck stop, off the M6 at Kingstown, may have longed for lashings of butter and grease, on the whole the initiative was welcomed yesterday.

The pop-up cafe had been set up by staff from Morrisons, to tie in with its healthier eating range NuMe.

Carlisle was the third and final launch spot for the initiative, chosen because an estimated 292,570 HGVs pass through Cumbria every year.

New research commissioned by the company reveals that almost one-third (28 per cent) of HGV drivers is classified as obese or morbidly obese, compared with a national average of 22 per cent.

Drivers claimed it was the limited choice on offer at truck stops, and the “inconvenience” of healthy food that had led to the expanding waste lines.

Kenny Murdoch, a driver from Elgin who had stopped in Carlisle on his way to Workington, agreed.

“Most of us don’t have a set time you can stop and eat,” he explained, “and you’re always chasing yourself a lot of the time.

“When you fuel up you just grab something to eat, whatever is quick and easy – usually a bacon butty or a burger.”

Not all truck drivers are the same though, Glynn Bevan-Smith from North Wales prides himself on healthy eating.

“Sat down all day it can be hard, and it’s easy to snack,” he said. “I always take fruit to pick at.

“If you get heart problems then you lose your licence and your livelihood, so it’s not worth it.”

The days of the “greasy spoon” have diminished in comparison with years gone by, and Lee King, catering manager for the Night Owl, insisted her food is already healthier.

“We don’t fry food, we griddle it,” she explained. “Our chips are the only unhealthy thing, but you can’t tell someone they’re having boiled potatoes instead of chips!”

Lee admitted that some lorry drivers do epitomise the overweight stereotype, but believes that society is partly to blame.

She said: “Everything has changed: it is all rush, rush, rush nowadays. “There is often no time to stop.”

Food was being freshly prepared at the truckstop by development chefs Paul Holinski and Robert Craggs.

“We are offering some of the nation’s favourite breakfast dishes, just in a healthier form,” Robert explained.

“The reaction has been really positive from the truckers we’ve met.”

Have your say

Trucking is the same as many many jobs, you either take health food with you in your snap, or eat garbage on the job.

Little chef do some healthy things, even a motorway service station ham salad cob is going to be healthier than fried foods and burgers.

Posted by Dean Lowe on 9 November 2012 at 12:42

why give away free food to working people..give it to hard up pensioners and families on the bread line..never heard such rubbish..truck drivers are more than capable of deciding on their own diet..all this smacks of free publicity..

Posted by mr wiggin on 30 October 2012 at 14:03

View all 8 comments on this article

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