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Overcome Loneliness During Winter

New studies are finding links between people who are obese and lonely who may be at risk for larger problems with their physical and mental health. Jennifer Linse, an advanced practice social worker, says cases of loneliness often escalate in Iowa during the wintertime as more of us become socially isolated by the cold weather.

Even when we’re surrounded by other people, Linse says it’s easy to be overcome by loneliness, as we crave that contact.

People who are overweight may face discrimination which can leave them with an emotional scar, something Linse says can be difficult to overcome.

We don’t often hear health care professionals recommend Facebook as a solution to anything, but in this case, Linse says it might provide some benefit.

Instead of reading a book at home, for example, she suggests taking the book to a library or coffee shop where you might interact with others. Linse is an employee assistance program consultant at Gundersen Health System, which has clinics in Fayette, Decorah, Waukon, Lansing, Postville and Calmar, and a hospital in West Union.

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