Science says: your noisy neighbors are making you fat

By Virginia K. Smith | May 28, 2015 - 1:59PM

Yet another reason to hate the people who stomp around upstairs or the guy who's always parked out front blasting Hot 97? They're probably making you gain weight.

A team of Swedish researchers recently found that city dwellers exposed to a daily barrage of noise pollution are at a 25 percent higher risk "of being heavier than people living in quieter areas," the Daily News reported this week. In fairness to your horrible neighbors, this could mean noise from all kinds of sources: living underneath a flight path or next to an above-ground train, day-to-day street traffic and honking horns, or noise from the bar downstairs, for instance.

Why? Excess noise reportedly raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which a researcher told the paper will "stimulate the accumulation of visceral fat in the abdominal area." Translation: Noise makes you stressed, and stress gives you a gut.

The study recommends sleeping on the "quiet side" of the house if you have that option (does anyone?). Barring that, it's time to either have a talk with your neighbors, step up your calls-to-311-and-passive-aggressive-notes routine, or invest in a pair of high-tech earplugs.

(H/t Grub Street for the link.)


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