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Loneliness May Be More Deadly Than Obesity
Loneliness is lethal and people should start planning socially for retirement as well as financially (CCSS Level: Grade 11, Words: 327)
Aug 6, 2017 Style & Living
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Loneliness is deadlier than obesity and should be taught of as a major public health hazard, the biggest ever review into the problem has suggested.

Research in the US looked at 218 studies into the health effects of social isolation and loneliness involving nearly four million people. They found that lonely people had a 50 percent higher risk of early death, compared to those with good social connections. On the other hand, obesity raises the chance of dying before the age of 70 by around 30 percent.

"Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need - crucial to both well-being and survival, " said Dr Julianne Holt-Lunstad, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in the US.

"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," said Dr Holt-Lunstad.

"Yet an increasing portion of the U.S. population now experience isolation regularly, " she said. To clearly show the link between social isolation and loneliness on the risk for early death, Dr Holt-Lunstad presented data from two research reviews.

The first involved 148 studies, representing more than 300,000 people, and found that greater social connection is likely means a 50 percent reduced risk of early death.

The second study, involving 70 studies representing more than 3.4 million people from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, look at the role that social isolation, loneliness or living alone might have on the risk of dying.

Researchers found that all three had a large and equal effect on the risk of early death, one that was equal to or more than the effect of other well-accepted risk factors such as obesity.

"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, " said Dr Holt-Lunstad.

The new research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.


Top tips to beat loneliness…

  • When you meet up with close friends, talk about your feelings, not just your jobs or families. Being honest about your life helps people feel closer to you
  • Plan holidays or birthdays well in advance so that you are never lonely at times when it really matters
  • Invite out a new person - someone you've met in the last month. Take them to a play, film or out for supper
  • If you have feelings of loneliness at work, fill your lunch hour with an enjoyable activity: listen to a play on your iPad or start learning a language
  • Give yourself permission to say no to events where you can't take a plus one
  • Don't wait for someone to call or email - contact them. If they're busy it doesn't mean they are rejecting you. Try again
Which sector is often viewed as the main problem group for loneliness?
teenagers
the elderly
infants
middle-aged
How can we face the challenge of the 'loneliness epidemic'?
encourage doctors to include social connectedness in medical screening
councils should ensure there are sufficient social events that encourage interaction
provide early social skills training for children in schools
all of these
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the greatest amount possible, on the edge / highest, very great, dangerous


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the people who live in a particular place


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por-tion

a part, especially of food

 


n.一部分

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pro-blem

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