Being single is deadlier than obesity, study concludes


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Still single? Here’s another reason for you to start exploring the dating world.

Health experts have warned against the negative effects of being lonely and socially isolated. A study carried out by researchers at the Brigham Young University suggests that loneliness can kill you faster than obesity.

Being single is deadlier than obesity, study concludes
PHOTO CREDIT: CNBC
After examining 218 studies that looked into the health effects of loneliness and social isolation, researchers discovered that individuals with bad social connections have a 50% raised risk of early death compared to individuals with good social connections. Results also showed that social isolation increased a person’s risk of death by half compared to obesity, which elevated the risk of death by just 30%.

According to Dr. Juliane Holt-Lunstad, lead author of the study, being connected to others socially is a fundamental need of human beings and is crucial in both survival and well-being.

“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,” Holt-Lunstad said.

Previous studies have shown that feelings of loneliness appear to make people feel worse physically and mentally. Lonely patients tend to experience worse symptoms when they are sick compared to individuals who aren’t lonely. In fact, a study carried out by Rice University in Texas discovered that solitary adults felt far worse symptoms whenever they have a cold.

Researchers explained that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature death. This risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators.

With many countries facing a “loneliness epidemic”, Holt-Lunstad suggests that research and resources that deal with loneliness must be prioritized.

While many would argue that being single doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re lonely, previous researches have also shown the various health benefits of being in love.

-- Mini, The Summit Express

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