Social isolation, loneliness could be greater threat to public health than obesity – ScienceDaily

To illustrate the influence of social isolation and loneliness on the risk for premature mortality, Holt-Lunstad presented data from two meta-analyses. The first involved 148 studies, representing more than 300,000 participants, and found that greater social connection is associated with a 50 percent reduced risk of early death. The second study, involving 70 studies representing more than 3.4 million individuals primarily from North America but also from Europe, Asia and Australia, examined the role that social isolation, loneliness or living alone might have on mortality. Researchers found that all three had a significant and equal effect on the risk of premature death, one that was equal to or exceeded the effect of other well-accepted risk factors such as obesity.

Source: Social isolation, loneliness could be greater threat to public health than obesity — ScienceDaily

Get off your damn phone, get out of the house and go do something with your family and friends.

Change in Diet Can Lower Mortality Risk

A worsening diet over the course of 12 years was associated with an increased mortality of 6% to 12%, the researchers found.  Those who stayed consistently on a healthy diet starting at baseline had a 9% to 14% lower risk for death than those who stayed consistently on a poor diet.

Source: Change in Diet Can Lower Mortality Risk

Source: Association of Changes in Diet Quality with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality — NEJM

 

Mammoth and Plenty of Raw Vegetables – ScienceDaily

Senckenberg scientists have studied the diet of anatomically modern humans. With their recent study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, they were able to refute the theory that the diet of early representatives of Homo sapiens was more flexible than that of Neanderthals. Just like the Neanderthals, our ancestors had mainly mammoth and plants on their plates — the researchers were unable to document fish as part of their diet. Therefore, the international team assumes that the displacement of the Neanderthals was the result of direct competition.

And yet another result came as a surprise for the scientists: The proportion of plants in the diet of the anatomically modern humans was significantly higher than in comparable Neanderthal finds — mammoths, on the other hand, appear to have been one of the primary sources of meat in both species.

Source: On the early human’s menu: Mammoth and plenty of raw vegetables: Early modern humans consumed more plants than Neanderthals but ate very little fish — ScienceDaily

Take home lesson:

Eat more plants and less mammoth.

Are friends better for us than family? – Michigan State University

In a pair of studies involving nearly 280,000 people, William Chopik found that friendships become increasingly important to one’s happiness and health across the lifespan. Not only that, but in older adults, friendships are actually a stronger predictor of health and happiness than relationships with family members.

Source: Are friends better for us than family? | MSUToday | Michigan State University

Hell yes.