A recent study has found that loneliness is deadlier than obesity, Centurion Rekord reports.
The study by Brigham Young University compared the health risks of loneliness and social isolation versus obesity and found that social isolation raised a person’s risk of death by 50 percent, while obesity raised it by just 30 percent.
Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, lead author and professor of psychology at the university said being lonely should be considered a public health risk.
“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. Indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment.”
Holt-Lunstad said evidence indicated that social isolation and loneliness significantly increased the risk of premature death, and the magnitude of the risk exceeded that of many leading health indicators.
“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,” she said.
The study recommended doctors factor in their patient’s social circumstances in treatment.