How spontaneous or neurotic you are could dictate how much you weigh, says a new study.
Yes, that’s right -- type A personalities are more likely to have a higher BMI and impulse shoppers are more likely to go through cycles of losing and gaining weight, according to research recently published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
In the first study of its kind, three researchers from the Department of Health and Human Services followed nearly 2,000 subjects over a 50-year life span. They found that those scoring high on the impulsivity scale were likely to be 11 kilograms (about 24 pounds) heavier than those on the lower end of that scale.
Which personality types are likely to be thin?
The researchers found those who scored high on the conscientiousness scale were likely to be leaner. They also found that those low on agreeableness “predicted a greater increase in the Body Mass Index across the adult life span.”
Essentially, the meaner you are, the likelier you are to gain weight as you age.
There have been previous studies linking impulsivity to weight gain -- although nothing on this scale. A 2006 study by Maastricht University of 26 obese children found that the most overweight children were also the most impulsive. Another study, published in 2008 by the University of Alabama, found that obese women had significantly lower impulse control than normal weight women, while a 1976 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition similarly found that obese women were more likely to be “non-conforming and impulsive” than their non-obese peers.
Psychiatriy News related novelty-seeking with difficulty in losing weight.
Impulsiveness is intuitive enough. But what's curious is the connection between neurotic or disagreeable people and weight gain. As The Atlantic Wire wrote, it sounds like anyone with an interesting personality can end up fat.
Have insights or examples from your own life? Tell us below.