In a world where we are obsessed with obesity and its negative effects, it’s easy to ignore the other insidious killer: loneliness. Pound for pound, it seems that loneliness kills more people that obesity. The mortality rates for lonely people are 1.5; they are 50% more likely to die than unlonely people. While the obesity mortality rates are 1.18; they are just 18% more likely to die than people with a normal weight.
Surprised? Well hold on there because it’s about to get a whole lot worse. The percentage of Americans who report being lonely has been steadily growing. In the 1980s, 20% of Americans considered themselves lonely, but today it’s 40%. So what’s going on? What is making us so lonely that it’s literally killing us?
Social media and entertainment have been called into question a lot when it comes to us feeling isolated. Studies have shown that more people used Facebook, the worse they felt. The “Internet Paradox” is the contradiction of increased connections to humans and a lack of human contact. “The more face-to-face interactions, the less lonely you are, the more online interactions, the lonelier you are,” says John Cacioppo, Social Neuroscientist of the University of Chicago.
Check out this infographic for more on how crippling loneliness is even worse than obesity, what the signs are and what you can do to combat it. Let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to like and share.