Why loneliness is more dangerous than obesity

One is the loneliest number and, sometimes, it could even be the most dangerous.

Loneliness is just as much of a public health hazard as obesity, if not more so, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association annual conference last week. Research from 148 studies, involving 300,000 participants, showed people who had greater social connections had a 50% reduced risk of dying early, and another set of research involving 70 studies representing 3.4 million people in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia found social isolation, loneliness or living alone each played a significant role in premature death.

Over 42 million Americans over the age of 45 suffer from chronic loneliness, according to the AARP.

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