A study has found a connection between traffic noise and obesity. Researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Leicester found that long-term exposure to road traffic noise, such as living near a motorway or on a busy road, was associated with an increase in body mass index and waist circumference – key obesity markers.
“While modest, the data revealed an association between those living in high traffic-noise areas and obesity, at around a 2% increase in obesity prevalence for every 10dB of added noise,” said lead author Dr Samuel Yutong Cai, a senior epidemiologist at the University of Oxford.
“The association persisted even when we accounted for a wide range of lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol use, physical activity and diet, as well as when taking into account socio-economic status of both individuals and the overall area. Air pollution was also accounted for, especially those related to traffic.”
The study was published in Environmental Research.