Exposure to a combination of road traffic, rail, and aircraft noise may pose the greatest risk of acquiring a pot belly, thought to be one of the most harmful types of fat deposition around the body.
Road traffic noise is linked to a heightened risk of developing a mid-riff bulge, researchers said.
Scientists say main roads often result in noise pollution from traffic, which can have an adverse reaction on residents’ sleeping patterns and their willingness to exercise.
The research, published in the British Medical Journal, found those who live under a flight path or near an airport were most likely to suffer from weight problems as a result of noise pollution.
“Health effects related to traffic noise are widespread and span from annoyance, sleep disturbances and changes in stress hormone levels to effects on the cardiovascular system.”
Recent findings suggest traffic noise may also affect the metabolic system, inducing central obesity and type 2 diabetes. Traffic noise poses as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke.
According to the study conducted in Sweden, central obesity is associated with exposure to railway and aircraft noise and a particularly high risk was seen for combined exposure to all sources of traffic noise.
Traffic noise may influence metabolic and cardiovascular functions through sleep disturbances and chronic stress, doctors said
Sleep disturbances may affect immune functions and influence the central control of appetite and energy expenditure as well. Short sleep duration may lead to an increased appetite and reduced energy expenditure, as per the study.