"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Study shows loneliness increases mortality rate for obese people

January 23, 2024 – Loneliness is understood to be a serious health problem, and a brand new report suggests the suffering is even worse for individuals with obesity.

“To date, diet and lifestyle factors have been the focus of preventing obesity-related diseases,” said Dr. Lu Qi, lead writer of the study published Monday in JAMA network opened to CNN.

“Our study highlights the importance of considering social and mental health when improving the health of people with obesity,” said Qi, a professor at Tulane University.

CNN reported that “all causes of death among people classified as obese were 36% lower among people who felt less lonely and socially isolated,” the info showed.

The study found that social isolation was a greater risk factor for all causes of death, including cancer and heart problems, than depression, anxiety and lifestyle risk aspects – which included alcohol, exercise and food plan.

The study reviewed information from almost 400,000 people from the UK BioBank, a big database for long-term research. The people involved within the study had no heart problems at baseline, and researchers conducted follow-up between March 2006 and November 2021.

Qi said it's time to “integrate social and psychological factors with other nutritional and lifestyle factors to develop intervention strategies to prevent obesity-related complications.”

The results suggest that improving social isolation could possibly be “a potential means of reducing mortality,” Dr. Philipp Scherer, a professor of internal medicine on the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, who was not involved within the project.