Have you ever thought about the effect exerted by noise on your waistline? Is it true that noise can make you gain some weight? Imagine that researchers have just revealed that this is true indeed. Just a few days ago, a Swedish study conducted by the Karolinska Institute was published in several international magazines (Time, Daily Mail, etc.) to inform us that noise pollution has a negative effect on our waistlines. To be more specific, the study states that with each additional 5 decibels we are facing, our waistline increases by some 0.21 cm! In addition, the study reports that noise has adverse impacts on our health: insomnia, stress, depression, cardiovascular effects, etc.
Such study lasted for 4 years and was conducted on a group of 5075 persons living in Stockholm. These men and women were asked to complete a form explaining the degree of their exposure to noise coming from road traffic as well as from rail and air traffic. In addition, these men and women had to constantly note down their blood pressure, their average waist to hip ratio and their body mass index (BMI). Thus, researchers found out that exposure to noise actually increased the risk of weight gain, especially in women. They added that such fat accumulation may have been due to stress hormones, primarily cortisol which multiplies at a rate that is as high as the rate of the surrounding noise. It was also noted that this urban noise pollution can also affect metabolism and cardiovascular functions by way of its negative effect on sleep quality and duration.