Impulsive People More Likely to Struggle with Weight Gain

ScienceDaily published an article about a study, comprised of 50 years of data, showing that personality plays a role in body weight. The study, published by the American Psychological Association, indicates that impulsivity is the strongest personality indicator for obesity.

A research team from the National Institute on Aging examined data from a longitudinal study of nearly 2000 people to figure out how personality traits are connected with weight and Body Mass Index (BMI). The participants were evaluated on the “Big Five” personality traits, which are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Additionally, they were assessed on 30 sub-categories of these personality traits. The people who scored in the top 10 percent on impulsivity — specifically those who enjoy taking risks, are antagonistic, cynical, competitive and aggressive — weighed about 22 pounds more on average than those in the bottom 10 percent.

The study authors conclude that the relationship between weight gain and personality traits is complex, but they hope that by pinpointing the associations between personality and obesity, more tailored treatments will be developed.

You can read more about the Big Five Personality traits here.

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