Can traffic noise make you gain weight?

Living on a noisy street may apparently increase risk of belly fat

Noise pollution deriving from traffic, trains and planes may increase risk of abdominal obesity, Swedish researchers report. "Long-term exposure to traffic noise may affect our metabolism and lead to abdominal obesity. Traffic noise should be recognized as an important environmental health hazard that needs to be taken into consideration in urban planning," said lead researcher Charlotta Eriksson, from the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Apparently people who live near high-traffic roadways, rail lines, and airports are at the greatest risk for developing abdominal obesity. Also, the more sources of noise people are exposed to, the higher the risk of obesity. Stress and the hormone cortisol should be the culprits, researchers theorize: the longer cortisol levels stays high, the more a person craves for foods that are high in fat.
Study author Goran Pershagen told: "Exposure to traffic noise is increasing because of ongoing urbanization and increasing traffic volumes. It is important to fully assess the public health consequences of this development." The findings of the research have been published in the online journal "Occupational & Environmental Medicine."