STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – It is often heard that driving instead of walking leads to expansion of your waistline but now it has been discovered that traffic noise on roads may affect the size of your pants.
Exposure of noise from road traffic, railways and planes leads to a significantly increased risk of abdominal obesity.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm studied the environmental traffic noise exposure of 5,075 Swedish residents since 1999, according to a release (PDF). Their health and work habits during 2002 to 2006 were investigated via a questionnaire, and the results of a medical exam on each participant were used as well.
It was concluded that the people who were regularly exposed to just one of the three tracked sources of environmental noise pollution at a noise level of at least 45 decibels were 25 percent more likely to have a larger waist and that doubled for people exposed to all three sources.
The study also found that waist size increased by .21 cm for women. There was also an association with increased waist to hip ratio, which was stronger for men.
“Long-term exposure to traffic noise may affect our metabolism and lead to abdominal obesity,” said lead researcher Charlotta Eriksson, from the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
The results suggest that people who are trying to lose weight should consider living in less urbanised environments.
It is pertinent to mention here that a number of recently published studies have found associations between transport noise and high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.
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