The Truckload Carriers Association is looking to improve the general health of the trucking industry. It will host Trucking's Weight Loss Showdown, a competition with prize incentives for the fleet and individual who achieve the greatest percentages of weight loss.

TCA has partnered with Lindora Clinic, providers of America's leading medically based weight-loss and health management wellness programs. The showdown will take place over 10 weeks, beginning January 24, 2012. It will stress a low-carbohydrate, low-fat, moderate protein menu plan coupled with exercise, nutrition education, and lifestyle changes.

Participants will receive weekly phone calls from Lindora nurses, who will instruct them on nutrition education, help boost their morale, discuss their obstacles, and record their weight loss. Each team's profile and progress to date will be shared with attendees of TCA's Annual Convention in March. The winners -- both fleet and individual -- will be announced in May at TCA's Safety & Security Division Annual Meeting.

In order to participate, carriers must be able to recruit 12 participants -- six drivers and six office staff.

"When we first envisioned this showdown, we were going to start with just five companies with 10 team members each, but enthusiasm has been so great we opened this up to 10 companies with 12 team members each," said Gary Salisbury, TCA's chairman and the president and CEO of Fikes Truck Line, Inc., Hope, Arkansas. "Initial reaction to this idea has been tremendous."

Gary Kermott, president and CEO of Lindora Clinic, said, "We are honored to be partnering with TCA on the First North American Battle of Trucking's Weight Loss Showdown. Our Lean for Life On-the-Road Program is a uniquely designed weight loss and health management program for the professional truck driver's lifestyle. Our behavioral approach to creating long-lasting change will have everyone excited to watch these carrier teams feel better, look better, and get healthy. And let's not forget it will be simply good old-fashioned fun seeing trucking's competitive spirit in action!"

According to a December 2007 study by the American Dietetic Association, 86 percent of trucking industry professionals are overweight or obese. Though it might be tempting to blame this on truckers' sedentary jobs, this statistic actually applies to all trucking employees, not just drivers.

"This showdown is one way we can help our industry get healthier," said Salisbury. "It's the right thing to do for the folks who sacrifice so much to keep our goods moving."

Carriers wishing to participate may apply now through November 30, 2011, at