Study: Social isolation twice as unhealthy as being obese

Being socially disconnected — a loose term usually taken to mean having few good friends or strong family relationships — was said to be equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes per day and to heavy drinking — of six units of alcohol a day — the scientists involved said.

It was also worse for someone’s health than such better-recognised health risks as avoiding exercise, and twice as bad for one’s health as being obese.