Researchers have found that overcoming social isolation and loneliness in obese people reduces the risk of mortality.
The corresponding study was published in the journal JAMA Network, CNN reports.
Loneliness is common all over the world, but people with obesity experience it significantly more often. And it is she who increases the risk of death, in particular, from cancer and cardiovascular diseases, scientists say.
The UK Biobank study included data from almost 400,000 participants, more than 23% of whom were obese.
The scientists started the cohort study in March 2006 and finished in November 2021. During this time, many people have already died.
The team looked specifically at mortality among obese people. It turned out that she was by 36% lower in people who felt less lonely.
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Social isolation was found to be a greater risk factor for all causes of mortality.
It poses a greater threat than depression, anxiety and lifestyle risk factors such as alcohol or poor diet.
Conversely, a lower index of social isolation is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality in obese individuals.
“Obesity, social isolation and loneliness are linked to many health problems.
A lack of social support can increase health risk behaviors in obese people (smoking, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet) and can lead to neglect of health-protective actions, such as adherence to medical recommendations.” – the article says.
Scientists believe that when helping people with obesity, it is necessary to focus not only on diet and physical activity, but also to integrate social and psychological factors into it.
“Our study highlights the importance of considering social and mental health to improve the health status of people with obesity.”– says the lead author of the study, Professor Lu Qi from Tulane University.
At the same time, scientists add that single people with obesity have a higher risk of death than single people with a normal weight.
We will remind, earlier WHO declared loneliness a global threat, which is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
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