4 Jun

Is Noise Pollution Making You Obese?

According to a study by Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, traffic noise is responsible for weight gain with the risk of obesity doubling for homes that live near a railway, under a flight path or on the main road.


Image Source: Google

Traffic noise averages around 45 decibels, but for every five decibels above that, the average person gains an extra 0.2 cm on the waist. And there’s cause to worry with these findings because excessive weight around the waist is one of the most harmful types of fat, and has been linked to diseases like diabetes.

That’s not all. According to researchers at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, for every 10 decibel increase in traffic noise, the risk of a stroke among over 65s increases by more than a quarter. Also, traffic noise might affect a person’s metabolism, through sleep disturbance, altering appetite control and energy expenditure.

Noise pollution or not, here’s how to interpret your waist circumference.

Men Women
Low Risk 37 31.5
Intermediate Risk 37.1 – 39.9 31.6 -34.9
High Risk 40 & above 35 & above


The results suggest that people who want to lose weight should consider living in less urbanized environments or in quiet neighborhoods.


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