Tuesday June 25, 2019

Longer Exposure to Honking Traffic Makes You Obese

For the study, the researchers involved 3,796 adults and examined body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, body fat, central obesity and overweight

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Traffic Kolkata, Wikimedia

Are you obese or overweight? Blame long term exposure to blaring horns and other noise from road traffic, said researchers.

The study showed that a 10 decibel (dB) increase in mean noise level was associated with a 17 per cent increase in obesity.

“Our analysis shows that people exposed to the highest levels of traffic noise are at greater risk of being obese” said Maria Foraster, lead researcher from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain.

It could be because noise generates stress and affects our sleep. It alters hormone levels and increases blood pressure.

Moreover, among other effects, sleep disturbance deregulates glucose metabolism and alters the appetite, the researchers explained in the paper published in the journal Environment International.

Long term exposure to honking traffic can make you obese. Flickr

“In the long term, these effects could give rise to chronic physiological alterations, which would explain the proven association between persistent exposure to traffic-related noise and cardiovascular disease or the more recently discovered associations with diabetes and obesity,” Foraster said.

“Our findings suggest that reducing traffic-related noise could also be a way of combating the obesity epidemic,” he noted.

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For the study, the researchers involved 3,796 adults and examined body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, body fat, central obesity and overweight.

They also analysed exposure to noise generated by aircraft and railway traffic and found no significant associations except in the case of long-term exposure to railway noise, which was associated with a higher risk of overweight but not of obesity. (IANS)

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Having a Cup of Coffee Can Help You Fight Obesity, Diabetes

“The results were positive and we now need to ascertain that caffeine as one of the ingredients in the coffee is acting as the stimulus or if there’s another component helping with the activation of brown fat. We are currently looking at caffeine supplements to test whether the effect is similar,” Symonds added

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coffee
A patron holds an iced beverage at a Starbucks coffee store in Pasadena, Calif., July 25, 2013. VOA

Drinking a cup of coffee can be helpful in fighting obesity and diabetes as it stimulates body’s fat-fighting defences, says a new study.

The study, published in Scientific Reports journal, found components which could have a direct effect on “brown fat” functions, an important part of the human body which plays a key role in how quickly we can burn calories as energy.A

Brown adipose tissue (BAT), also known as brown fat, is one of two types of fat found in humans and other mammals. Its main function is to generate body heat by burning calories (opposed to white fat, which is a result of storing excess calories).

People with a lower body mass index (BMI) therefore have a higher amount of brown fat.

“Brown fat works in a different way to other fat in your body and produces heat by burning sugar and fat, often in response to cold. Increasing its activity improves blood sugar control as well as improving blood lipid levels and the extra calories burnt help with weight loss,” said study’s co-director Michael Symonds, Professor at the University of Nottingham.. A

“This is the first study in humans to show that something like a cup of coffee can have a direct effect on our brown fat functions. The potential implications of our results are pretty big, as obesity is a major health concern for society and we also have a growing diabetes epidemic and brown fat could potentially be part of the solution in tackling them,” he noted.

A barista pours steamed milk into a cup of coffee at a cafe in Los Angeles, Sept. 22, 2017. State health officials proposed a regulation change Friday that would declare coffee doesn't present a significant cancer risk, countering a California court ruling.
A barista pours steamed milk into a cup of coffee at a cafe in Los Angeles, Sept. 22, 2017. VOA

For the study, the researcehes started with a series of stem cell studies to see if caffeine would stimulate brown fat. After finding the right dose, they then moved on to humans to see if the results were similar.

They used a thermal imaging technique to trace the body’s brown fat reserves. The non-invasive technique helps the team to locate brown fat and assess its capacity to produce heat.

“From our previous work, we knew that brown fat is mainly located in the neck region, so we were able to image someone straight after they had a drink to see if the brown fat got hotter,” he said.

Also Read: Poor Sleep Quality Associated with Reduced Memory in Senior Citizens

“The results were positive and we now need to ascertain that caffeine as one of the ingredients in the coffee is acting as the stimulus or if there’s another component helping with the activation of brown fat. We are currently looking at caffeine supplements to test whether the effect is similar,” Symonds added.

“Once we have confirmed which component is responsible for this, it could potentially be used as part of a weight management regime or as part of glucose regulation programme to help prevent diabetes,” he concluded. (IANS)