PSA: Science Says Being Single Could Kill You Faster Than Obesity
Well, FML then.
Single folks sure have it rough. The disadvantages of being single woman include being pestered by aunties in every single family reunion to settle down because "the clock is ticking", being pitied by your coupled-up friends, and now, it turns out, literally death.
According to a study from the Brigham Young University in the US, being single could raise a person's death by HALF. Obesity, on the other hand, which raises the risk of death by "only" 30%. So if you're obese and single, guess you can just live each moment like it's your last because that may very well be the case — if this study is accurate.
Disadvantages of being single woman: Literally dying
"Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need, crucial to both well-being and survival," says the study's lead author, Dr. Julianna Holt-Lunstad.
“Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment. Yet an increasing portion of the US population now experiences isolation regularly.”
One other study from 2011 found that single people are 24% more likely to die compared to married people. Why? Maybe it's because married folks are less likely to engage in risky behaviour. Single people could also have less access to health care and resources. Maybe seriously ill people are less likely to marry, so it just seems like single are more likely to die. There just isn't enough research to conclude that singleness causes death, but the two are definitely correlated.
But okay, maybe saying being single could kill you faster is a little oversimplistic. What the researchers were looking into were the effects of loneliness and social isolation on health. And loneliness and social isolation don't go hand-in-hand. You can be isolated and not be lonely (perhaps you really like living like a hermit). You can also be surrounded by people and feel lonely, especially if your relationships seem superficial.
A gentle reminder: just because you're not coupled up doesn't mean you have to be lonely! And marriage isn't a guarantee against loneliness.
“Being unmarried is a significant risk,” Dr. Holt-Lunstad said, “but not all marriages are happy ones. We have to consider the quality of relationships, not simply their existence or quantity.”