Fast food, slow reactions

Healthy foodIn an interesting Danish study from 2005, two groups of truck drivers were given a controlled diet for two days. One group had healthy food, focused on stabilizing thir blood sugar levels. The other group ate junk food. Yes, the sacrifices some people make in the name of science.

The drivers were then placed in a truck simulator that tested their driving. The study found that the drivers who lived on junk food had slower reactions. When going 70 kph. on a highway, they needed 30 meters more to notice a traffic block and stop the truck than the drivers eating healthy food. Source (In Danish).

Who knew that burgers could be a traffic hazard…

Question: If junk food slows down the reaction times of truck drivers, do you think it might make other kinds of workers grumpy, tired, irritable and less creative? What’s your take?

10 thoughts on “Fast food, slow reactions”

  1. It’s funny how we all really know about this, but need a study to point it out how bad it truly can get – I know after all the eating I’ve done over the holidays, I feel sluggish and aimless….

  2. Yes, that’s part of the reason I’m a vegan. Though sometimes inconvenient, my energy level is high and I don’t get sluggish periods during the day.

  3. I moved my diet from whatever was available to a pescatarian (basically lacto-ovo plus fish) diet, and started watching my diet carefully. I am better able to focus now than before. I think diet makes a huge difference.

  4. Too much coffee!

    On the other hand, good coffee can make people happy. Just say no to instant coffee!

  5. Yes, I apparently had too much coffee. I tried to say that too much coffee makes people grumpy and stressed… Oh well. ;)

  6. Shel: Yeah, I know. I certainly over-partook this Christmas :o)

    Ralph: Interesting. My brother has been a vegetarian for some years now and says the same thing. I may have to try it some day.

    John: That’s the first time I heard of a pescatarian. Makes sense though.

    Stressedmanager: Too much coffee will do that :o) I agree on the instant coffee. I’m on a crusade against bad coffee – there’s simply too much bitter, sour, cheap coffee going around companies today.

  7. That really doesn’t surprise me at all. I always feel like unhealthy eating puts me in a coma. The scary part is that the diet most truckers actually eat on the road is probably closer to the junk food.

  8. A colleague of mine only ate McD for lunch – and coincidentally he was always grumpy and lazy after lunch, plus coincidentally he looked afwully worn out. Junk food can be a very good cure for hangover, though!

    And with regards to coffee, I try to avoid tolerance of caffeine: A cup of coffee every second/third day is a fantastic concentration booster – and good coffee is a fantastic happiness booster – while two-three espressos during a day returns my mind to the state it was in at 0645 in the morning: Instinct and confusion.

    There’s a boring but true old saying which translated from Danish would go something like “anything is good in small measures”

  9. John: What?! I thought truckers were health nuts. Does this mean I need to scrap my idea of a chain of vegan-granola-organic-health-food-based truck stops? Damn!

    Kristian: I believe ya. Since I saw Supersize Me, I haven’t been able to really enjoy a Big Mac :o)

    I cut back on coffee some years back from 6-8 cups a day to 2 at most. Did me a world of good.

  10. Hey, I’m a highschool student trying to get healthier lunches for my school district ‘n I’m looking for some solid research on the fact that school lunches can slow your reaction time, causing grades to drop. I was wondering if you all could help me?

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