One can be a real killer


What’s deadlier: obesity, smoking or loneliness?

This is not a trick question.

Several alarming recent studies, Jessica Olien writes in Slate, find that loneliness is a serious health risk. Elderly people without enough social interaction were twice as likely to die prematurely.

The increased mortality risk is comparable to that from smoking, Olien says, and loneliness is about twice as dangerous as obesity.

And, no, dear Reader, the Internet is not the solution. “A recent study of Facebook users found that the amount of time you spend on the social network is inversely related to how happy you feel throughout the day,” she notes.