The Italian immigrants of Roseto, Pennsylvania ate meatballs fried in lard, gorged on pasta, and smoked, but they had half the risk of heart disease as the rest of the country. Why? Researchers concluded that it was because they lived communally, celebrated regularly, and had a huge network of friends. One study examining the people of Alameda County, California found that, in every age and sex category, people with the fewest social ties were 3 times more likely to have died over a 9-year period than those who reported the most social ties.
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