Why Living on a Main Road May Hurt Your Waistline

posted: 05/29/15
by: TLCme
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Traffic can hurt your waistline

If you live near a main road, you might want to clean out your snack drawer. It turns out that people who live on busy roads tend to gain more weight.

A new study from the Karolinska Institute of Sweden found that traffic noise has a profound impact on waistlines. Normal traffic noise hovers around 45 decibels. According to the study, when the traffic noise increased five decibels, homeowners gained about .2 centimeters around their waists. Living under a flight path or near an airport doubled the rate of weight gain.

And that's not all -- urban noise may also be contributing to an increased risk of stroke, according to a study from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen. They found that risk of stroke in people 65 and older increased 25 percent for every 10-decibel increase in traffic noise.

"Traffic noise is a common and increasing environmental exposure, primarily due to ongoing urbanization and growth of the transport sector," said lead author Dr Andrei Pyko, Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

But while there appears to be a correlation between traffic and weight gain, it may be too early to say it's entirely the cause. Dr Anna Hansell, at the Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College London told The Telegraph: "While interesting, this is one of the first studies to look at the link between waist size and traffic noises so it's definitely too soon to be able to blame your increasing waistline on traffic noise."

Just to be safe, study researchers suggest, if you want to lose weight you should escape to a more rural area. Or you could also just eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.