A new study by researchers from Sweden’s Institute of Environmental Medicine has revealed an association between exposure to traffic noise and the risk of obesity.

Researchers from the Institute conducted a multi-year survey of 5,075 people living in suburban and rural areas around Stockholm. Participants were asked about their lifestyle, physical and psychological health, sleep patterns and work habits – as well as the level of road, rail, and air traffic sound they regularly heard.

The researchers found a significant association between levels of traffic-noise exposure and the risk of developing excess fat around the abdomen. Airplane noise was found to be particularly harmful.

Noise pollution, they explained, can trigger increased stress-related hormone production, in turn contributing to excess fat deposition. Noise can also compromise healthy sleep habits, affecting metabolism.

Noise pollution has been linked to other health hazards, too, including cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, chronic stress and hearing problems.

Further details here.

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