For us city folks, seeking out peace and quiet could do more than just help us find our Zen. A new study made a connection between living in noisy neighborhoods and carrying more padding around the waist. Researchers found that residents exposed to noises (such as traffic, trains or planes) had a 25 to 50 percent increased risk of developing a fuller waistline. The study took into account other factors that could account for expanding waistlines—such as noise exposure being common in poor neighborhoods where fresh food options may be lacking—but still maintained that noise was the common denominator. The reason? Noise spikes the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause fat to build in the midsection, says the lead researcher. Plus, noise can create sleep disruption, which impacts weight gain as well. If you’re a city dweller, what are some ways you keep you health, stress levels and sleep in check? Leave your thoughts in the comments!