Singlehood and loneliness are rather common themes in today’s society, what we don’t know is that it is actually an epidemic.
People are constantly on a quest seeking a connection that makes them feel better about themselves and with good reason as a new study shows that Loneliness is more likely to kill people than Obesity.
Research shows that those with bad social connections have a 50 percent increased risk of early death compared to those with good social connections.
A look into 218 studies into the health effects of loneliness and social isolation showed that while Obesity raised the risk of death by 30%, social isolation and loneliness raised the risk of death by an alarming 50%.
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.”
As for how this epidemic affects the economy, it has been found by the Campaign to End Loneliness, that the UK’s loneliness epidemic costs business $26million per year for the cost associated with health outcomes and sick days.
Dr Holt-Lunstad added: “There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators.
“With an increasing ageing 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.”