Directions: In this section, there is a passage with ten blanks. You are required to select one word for each blank from a list of choices given in a word bank following the passage. Read the passage through carefully before making your choices. Each choice in the bank is identified by a letter. Please mark the corresponding letter for each item on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre. You may not use any of the words in the bank more than once.
Social isolation poses more health risks than obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day, according to research published by Brigham Young University. The 26 is that loneliness is a huge, if silent, risk factor.
Loneliness affects physical health in two ways. First, it produces stress hormones that can lead to many health problems. Second, people who live alone are less likely to go to the doctor 27 , to exercise or to eat a healthy diet.
Public health experts in many countries are 28 how to address widespread loneliness in our society. Last year Britain even appointed a minister for loneliness. “Loneliness 29 almost every one of us at some point,” its minister for loneliness Baroness Barran said. “It can lead to very serious health 30 for individuals who become isolated and disconnected.”
Barran started a “Let’s Talk Loneliness” campaign that 31 difficult conversations across Britain. He is now supporting “ 32 benches,” which are public seating areas where people are encouraged to go and chat with one another. The minister is also 33 to stop public transportation from being cut in ways that leave people isolated.
More than one-fifth of adults in both the United States and Britain said in a 2018 34 that they often or always feel lonely. More than half of American adults are unmarried, and researchers have found that even among those who are married, 30% of relationships are 35 strained. A quarter of Americans now live alone, and as the song says, one is the loneliest number.