Twenty-four participants, half with normal waist sizes and half who were overweight, were the sample size for the small study. The participants had no prior history of acid reflux and were overall healthy. The researchers asked the participants to swallow a specially designed probe that took measurements both before and after each participant had eaten a meal. The measurements were taken while the volunteers were wearing a tight belt and when they were not wearing a belt.
All of the participants involved in the study reported experiencing a partial hiatus hernia and acid reflux, according to the Daily Record. “Wearing a tight belt, especially if you are overweight, puts strain on the valve between the stomach and the gullet,” Kenneth McColl, lead researcher of the study and professor at Glasgow University’s Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, told the Daily Record. The added pressure on the valve causes the stomach acid to leak upwards into the throat and ultimately produces acid reflux.