If you're reading this, you're not alone, but you may be lonely. A national poll asked adults 50 to 80 years old about their "health, health behaviors and experiences and feelings related to companionship and social isolation."
One in 3 said they felt a lack of companionship (26% said some of the time; 8% said often), and 27% reported feeling isolated from others during the past year.
Women were more likely than men to report feeling a lack of companionship. People who were not working or who were from households with annual incomes under $60,000 were more at risk, as were those who had children at home or lived alone. People between the ages of 50 and 64 reported feeling lonelier than people ages 65 to 80.
Body of Knowledge
During pregnancy, a woman's brain shrinks, but that's a good think. The affected regions of the brain are involved in processing and responding to social signals. Researchers say when mass diminishes, the result is that new mothers' brains become more efficiently wired, boosting their ability to interpret infants' needs and emotions and thus increasing maternal attachment. The shrinkage is temporary, lasting two years or so before the brain regains its full size again.
Get Me That, Stat!
One in 4 people who take prescriptions have trouble affording them, according to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The people most affected tend to be ages 50 to 64, who take more medications than younger people but aren't old enough to qualify for prescription coverage through Medicare.
The poll also found that 30% said they didn't take medicines as prescribed at some point in the past year due to cost.
Never Say 'Diet'
The Major League Eating record for Peeps, those adorable, animal-shaped marshmallow candies, is 255 in five minutes, held by Matt Stonie.