Can the noise pollution from cars, planes and trains make you fat?

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Can’t seem to shake those freshman fifteen, or those extra pregnancy pounds? Well, a recent study by Dr. Andrei Pyko et al for the Swedish Karolinska Institute states that traffic noise from cars, trains and planes might be causing you to gain weight.

You’re 25% more likely to gain weight when frequently exposed to noise pollution

The researchers studied the traffic noise that over 5000 Swedish citizens were exposed to since 1999. The 5000 participants’ work and health habits from 2002 to 2006, as well as the results from their medical exams, were also taken into account. The researchers concluded that people who were exposed to noise pollution from one of the three sources (planes, trains or automobiles) on a regular basis – as long as it was over 45 decibels – had a 25% higher chance of having a larger waist than people who were not exposed to said noise. The percentage doubled to 50% for people who were exposed to all three sources. The study also found that women’s waists could expand up to 21 centimetres because of noise pollution.

credit: CBS

Stress from noise is making you gain weight

Dr Pyko and his colleagues aren’t saying that the noise from cars, planes and trains is high in calories or anything (that would be silly), but that being exposed to such loud noises will cause stress, and that stress combined with the hormone cortisol is what causes you to gain weight. When you are under stress, your body reacts to this and in self defence amps up the cortisol production. High cortisol levels will make it more likely that you’ll become sick, and also will make you crave foods that are high in fat. So remember kids, wear your earplugs when you travel by plane! It might keep you slim ;).!

credit: CBS