Transport noise is a major problem in Europe, with over 100 million people living in areas where road traffic noise exceeds levels greater than 55dB, the health-based threshold set by the EU. A new study by the University of Oxford and the University of Leicester has found a connection between traffic noise and obesity. 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, which are key markers of obesity. The study was published today in the journal Environmental Research.
‘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,’ says 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.’
Release date: 17 August 2020
Source: University of Oxford