Modern seafarers should keep an eye on their weight as well as the horizon to avoid storing up health problems, advises Hutton’s, the UK’s leading ship supplier which is calling for seafarers to make a conscious effort to switch to a healthier diet.
“Seafarers can easily become overweight if they load up on calories to get through long working shift patterns,” says John MacDonald, General Manager of Hutton’s Medical.
“They just load up with calories to get them through the day but that doesn’t do your body any good at all. The energy is stored as fat and you are setting yourself up for problems later in life,” he explains.
John says its not just ship owners and managers who need to change their attitudes to crew health by purchasing healthier foods, but individual seafarers themselves who can take more responsibility for their own health and diet.
High fat, high calorie, high cholesterol foods may taste nice but are inadvisable on a regular basis warns John: “Fried sausages, fried bacon in a sandwich, it’s lovely I’ll admit, I’ve done it myself – but it doesn’t do you any good in the long run!”
However, it seems the maritime community is beginning to embrace a healthier lifestyle: Hutton’s reports an increase in ships choosing to stock up on healthier foods. “Our chandlery division is supplying increased quantities of healthier and ethical food products,” reports Hutton’s Managing Director Alex Taylor. “A number of ship managers and caterers are really taking welfare seriously and increasing the quantities of fruits and vegetables they order, in addition to reducing the amount of fatty foods onboard.”
Huttons reveals that:
• Sales of alcoholic beverages and tobacco reduced by 50% over the past three years
• Fresh salad, fruit and vegetable orders increased by 10% over the past two years
• Some customers are now specifying free-range or low-fat foods
• The company has also noticed an increase in orders for the provision of fitness equipment onboard vessels.
Alex Taylor concludes: “There’s so much choice available now and a much greater awareness of the need to manage health for long-term benefit that we expect this market to continue to grow.”