A recent research states that loneliness can prove deadly for older people.
Research shows a clear link between social interaction and increased longevity, the meeting was told. Yet more than one million people aged over 65 say they are often or always lonely.
Every local council is to receive guidance on how to measure levels of loneliness and people at risk of loneliness in their area, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow announced.
"Loneliness is the great unspoken public health issue. Research suggests it is more harmful to health than obesity and that there is a 50 per cent reduction in mortality if you have a strong social network," the Independent quoted Burstow as saying.
"If we do nothing, these people are going to turn up in our accident and emergency departments and care homes at great cost to society and loss to the individuals concerned.
"Research has shown that loneliness can be as harmful to your health as alcohol and tobacco, but we also know that people who have day- to-day contact live longer and healthier lives.
"The Government is working with the Campaign to End Loneliness to raise awareness about just how important even a simple phone call or visit can be to someone's health," he said.