Weight Loss, Weight Gain Tied to Personality

Are you struggling with weight loss? It may have something to do with your personality type, a new study says. According to Fox News, people who are neurotic, cynical, aggressive or competitive are more likely to pack on the pounds.

The study from the National Institute of Aging compared personality to weight and body mass index (BMI), Fox said. People who displayed traits like anxiety, aggression and especially impulsiveness were far more likely to gain weight. In fact, people found by researchers to be “highly impulsive” gained an average of 22 extra pounds compared with people in the bottom 10 percent of impulsive behavior.

“Previous research has found that impulsive individuals are prone to binge eating and alcohol consumption,” said lead researcher Angelina Sutin. “These behavioral patterns may contribute to weight gain over time.”

This may also factor into weight loss. Losing weight is all about consistency, Fox said, and impulsive people are more likely to deviate from health routines and get distracted from a weight loss program. By contrast, people who were found to be conscientious were generally slimmer.

Sutin said that evidence for a link between psychology and physiology is strengthened by the group’s study. She hopes to examine the connection further in the future in order to help tailor weight loss programs to individual personality types.

“We hope that by more clearly identifying the association between personality and obesity, more tailored treatments will be created,” Sutin said. “For example, lifestyle and exercise interventions that are done in a group setting may be more effective for extroverts than for introverts.”

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