Experts: Loneliness Acts Like Hunger, Forcing People To Want To Find Companionship
Researchers say loneliness, which can cause serious health issues, is related to the evolutionary need to survive and that a genetic component explains why some people are more affected by it than others. In other public health news, new evidence supports the idea that bariatric surgery can be highly effective for obese patients and doctors push back against "vaccination hesitancy."
The Washington Post:
Loneliness Can Be Depressing, But It May Have Helped Humans Survive
Loneliness not only feels nasty, it can also make you depressed, shatter your sleep, even kill you. Yet scientists think loneliness evolved because it was good for us. It still is — sometimes. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that being lonely ruins health. In one recent study, the risk of dying over a two-decade period was 50 percent higher for lonely men and 49 percent higher for lonely women than it was for those who did not experience feelings of isolation. According to some research, loneliness may be worse for longevity than obesity or air pollution. Yet according to scientists such as John Cacioppo, a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, loneliness has evolved to protect us. (Zaraska, 9/4)
Bariatric Surgery Can Help With Long-Term Weight Loss
Researchers with the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Carolina recently tracked the progress of 1,787 veterans who underwent gastric bypass surgery. They found that one year after surgery patients lost 98 pounds on average. Ten years later they gained back only about 7 pounds. Earlier studies have tracked gastric bypass patients for relatively short periods of time, about 1 to 3 years. That has led to the assumption that most people who have gastric bypass surgery will eventually regain the weight. (Neighmond, 9/5)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Pediatricians Inject Science, Reason, And Tough Love To Fight Vaccine 'Hesitancy'
Last week, pediatricians cheered as their professional organization boldly confronted the growing problem of vaccine "hesitancy." For the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics called on states to get rid of nonmedical exemptions for vaccines, and said it is "acceptable" for physicians to show the door to families who reject this bedrock approach to disease prevention. (McCullough, 9/5)