Single people, obesity is now a lesser health concern in comparison to your being single. According to a study published in the New York Post, experts say that loneliness is deadlier than obesity and should be considered a public health risk. And this loneliness doesn’t always have to be two people looking for love, it could be an elderly person, a divorcee or an introvert.
People with bad social connections as such, have a 50 per cent increased risk of early death compared to those with busy social connections, according to the study on loneliness.
Social isolation raised a person’s risk of death by half compared to obesity
To elucidate this issue, researchers in the United States analsyed at 218 studies into the health effects of loneliness and social isolation. They discovered that social isolation raised a person’s risk of death by half compared to obesity, which raised the risk of death by 30 percent.
The feeling of loneliness is speculated to deteriorate a person’s well-being both worse mentally and physically. And this feeling of loneliness is said to heighten at worse symptoms when they are unwell.
Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, lead author and professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, said: “Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need, crucial to both well-being and survival.
“Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment''.
''Yet an increasing portion of the US population now experiences isolation regularly''.
British people are the loneliest in Europe
Great Britain which has one of the highest loneliest rates in the world saw a devasting increase of 34% of the population living in single person households. As such, there have now been many campaigns and programs to bring awareness on the effects of loneliness.And as per Campaign To End Loneliness, the UK’s loneliness epidemic costs business $26 million per year for the costs associated with health outcomes and sick days.
Holt-Lunstad added: “There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase the risk for premature mortality. Consequently, the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators.”
''With an increasingly aging population, the effect on public health is only anticipated to increase.”
“Indeed, many nations around the world now suggest we are facing a ‘loneliness epidemic.’”
“The challenge we face now is what can be done about it.”
Schools suggested to be taught social skills lessons
As such, many experts have suggested that more research and resources should be conducted to the social issue of loneliness. They also went on to suggest that schools and public institutions should be taught social skills lessons on how to tackle this issue.