Traffic Noise Could Make You Fat
A team of Spanish researchers has concluded that every 10-decibel increase in noise from traffic is linked to a 17 percent increase in obesity. The investigators, from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, followed 3,796 adults for 8.3 years correlating their weight, height, body mass index, waist circumference and abdominal fat with estimates of their exposure to traffic noise. The analysis showed that those adults exposed to the highest levels of traffic noise were at greater risk of obesity. The study also looked at exposure to aircraft and railway traffic noise and found no links between obesity and short-term exposure. Long-term exposure to railway noise was associated with a higher risk of being overweight, but not obese. The researchers noted that noise generates stress and affects sleep, alters hormone levels and increases blood pressure. What’s more, they wrote, sleep disturbance deregulates glucose metabolism and alters the appetite, which in the long term could explain associations between traffic noise, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Reducing traffic noise might help combat the obesity epidemic, commented lead researcher Maria Foraster.
Maria Foraster et al, “Long-term exposure to transportation noise and its association with adiposity markers and development of obesity.” Environment International, December 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.09.057
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