The study was conducted by researchers from Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities and The Southern General Hospital in Glasgow who said that wearing tight belts can push acid into the oesophagus, damaging the cells and increasing the risk of cancer. The researchers conducted their study on a group of 24 people, half of whom had normal waist sizes, who had no history of acid reflux.
The researchers found that even in people with normal weight, wearing belts tightly led to partial hiatus hernia, which causes acid reflux. Partial hiatus hernia is linked with cancer as the acid that is pushed into the oesophagus can damage and change the cells. The study has been published in the British Medical Journal Gut.
"Wearing a tight belt, especially if you are overweight, puts strain on the valve between the stomach and the gullet. This causes stomach acid to leak upwards into the gullet. Unlike the stomach, which is designed to withstand this, the gullet is damaged by the acid. This causes heartburn and, in the longer term, possibly oesophageal cancer", lead researcher Professor Kenneth McColl said.