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Can Traffic Noise Increase Risk of Obesity?

There is an association between road traffic noise and the risk of obesity among people who are particularly sensitive to noise, according to a study. Among women who reported being particularly sensitive to noise, statistically significant associations were found between traffic noise levels and all three obesity markers: body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and hip-waist ratio (ratio between hip and waist circumference). The associations were weaker among men. The association with BMI was stronger among those who had been exposed to noise over several years. There was no association between noise and obesity markers when the population was viewed as a whole. The association was stronger among men with the bedroom facing a busy road, providing some support for the link to reduced sleep quality. — Oftedal B et al (2015) “Road traffic noise and markers of obesity: A population-based study.” Environmental Research Volume 138, Pages 144–153