Friday February 22, 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)

Next Story

Researchers Identify Genes Causing Obesity

Performing functional studies across other organisms, the team also identified two genes that were associated with significant increase in triglyceride and body fat across species

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obese children
India with 14.4 million had the second highest number of obese children in 2015. Pixabay

Researchers have identified genetic variants associated with obesity that is central to developing targeted interventions to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like hypertension, Type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

The team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found genetic sites that affect human body’s size and shape, including height and obesity. The findings will help understand how genes can predispose certain individuals to obesity.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers found 24 coding loci (or positions) — 15 common and nine rare — along chromosomes of individuals that predispose to higher waist-to-hip ratio.

Higher values of waist-to-hip ratio are associated with more incidence of diseases associated with obesity.

Obesity can now be cured by our body's natural weighing scales.
Obesity can now be cured by our body’s natural weighing scales.

“For the first time, we were able to examine, on a large scale, how low-frequency and rare variants influence body fat distribution,” said North.

“A better understanding of the genetic underpinnings of body fat distribution may lead to better treatments for obesity and other downstream diseases obesity also impacts, for example Type-2 diabetes and heart disease,” suggested North.

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Further analysis revealed pathways and gene sets that influenced not only metabolism but also regulation of body fat tissue, bone growth and adiponectin, a hormone that controls glucose levels and breaks down fat.

Performing functional studies across other organisms, the team also identified two genes that were associated with significant increase in triglyceride and body fat across species. (IANS)