Loneliness now rivals obesity as an epidemic

It’s one of the biggest killers in our society, but it remains a deadly silent threat. Loneliness. It is now believed that loneliness is of such epic proportions that many nations around the world suggest we are facing a “loneliness epidemic” that will soon overtake obesity as a global public health crisis.

Results emerged last week from the biggest ever study into loneliness was carried out by Brigham Young University. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology presented her findings at the American Psychological Association last week with the conclusion that greater social connection was associated with a 50% reduced risk of early death and that the loneliness epidemic has comparability with other well-accepted risk factors, including smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day, obesity, and air pollution. The studies which focused on two separate meta-analyses that both pulled in hundreds of millions of participants from countries across the world focusing on the relationship at the social connection and its effect or lack thereof.

The results were startling in their proof that issues of loneliness are chiefly concerned with more affluent nations such as the UK, Australia and the USA, due to longer life expectancy, decreasing marriage rates, people having fewer children, more people getting divorced, and more people living alone.

It has been scientifically proven time and again how much babies need interaction and physical support when developing, but the same seems to be true for adults. As Holt-Lunstad says in her report, “Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need—crucial to both well-being and survival.”  The professor suggests more emphasis should be placed in the workplace as people spend more time there, and meaningful connections play an important role in helping people combat loneliness.

For more information head to https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/