What’s the next public health issue?

In looking at the overall health of the United States, one can identify quite a few issues that could be improved upon.

What do you think is the next public health issue? Is it substance abuse, obesity or even loneliness? Researchers have found that loneliness can contribute to a higher mortality rate and therefore could be the next public health issue.

Share your thoughts on the next public health issue in today's Hopkins Happenings' Question of the Week.

Also, check out the article in Time about the study on loneliness.

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shay wiggins March 26, 2015 at 9:43 am

DEPRESSION

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Mary March 23, 2015 at 10:04 am

If you get a pet, there is no loneliness, and there are so many overweight kids that I'll have to say obesity is already the next public health issue. I guess obesity leads to more diabetes and heart disease, so it will snow ball into other problems. I vote #1 = obesity.

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Bonnie March 20, 2015 at 9:47 am

I agree that it is loneliness and it's going to be in the elderly. The baby boomers, most of whom have probably lead very hectic, active, fulfilled lives, are living much longer than generations before us. As their friends and families pass on, those who live into their 70's 80's and 90's are going to be hit with loneliness. They probably won't want to seek assistance either. Just think; their own children are probably going to be in their 50's, 60's, 70's and grandchildren and great grandchildren are already going to be adults living those hectic lives they used to and won't have time to always come around. I know it's sad, but I think before we even reach that age, we have to keep as active as possble, and as social as we can, so that when we do have those "alone" times that we appreciate the break and not dread it as loneliness.

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Yasmine March 20, 2015 at 8:48 am

I do think that there is something to loneliness being the next public health issue only in that loneliness can be the origin from which many other issues spring. Prolonged loneliness can lead to depression, inactivity, overeating/under-eating which can then lead to weight gain or failure to thrive, loss of stimulation which can lead to declined mental state, among other things. It is the individual's prolonged exposure to feelings of sadness stemming from prolonged periods of isolation that is the real public health issue.

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