A New York Daily News report examines a study that shows urban residents exposed to noise pollution have a higher risk of weight gain due to poor sleep.
The institute studied 5,000 men and women in Stockholm — but the results are relevant to all urban dwellers: People living by airports or under a flight path were most likely to be affected, but residents exposed to all of the main sources of noise pollution were twice as likely to have larger waistlines than those who just experienced one source.
So how does noise make us fat? The authors said that it’s not the car horns or the jet engines that are adding pounds, but the stress from noise pollution may lead to poor sleep, which can increase appetite and deplete energy. People with low energy won’t exercise, which leads to weight gain.
“The main mechanism underlying this association is probably that traffic noise may increase the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol which is known to stimulate the accumulation of visceral fat in the abdominal area,” study author Andrei Pyko told the Daily News.