“What kind of a personality are you compatible with?” or “What is your personality?” is an often-asked question by people worldwide. Personality refers to the individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, according to the Encyclopedia of Psychology. A person’s personality makes people around him/her develop an affinity/repulsiveness towards the person. A charismatic individual is liked by all, a comic person is a pleasure to have around, an ill-tempered/angry person is a trouble to hang around with and a helpful/caring person is a boon for people in contact with the person. Every personality has certain aspects that define the person and his/her actions in life.
Obesity, at one point of time, was considered a sign of affluence but now, it has become a worldwide health crisis that needs to be immediately dealt with. Obesity contributes as much as smoking in terms of diseases and can act as a trigger factor to many other diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and decreases life expectancy. We may blame food quality, quantity and the availability for increase in obesity rates but how many of you realize that personality traits constantly influence controllable behaviors that lead to obesity? Numerous studies totally focus on food, nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle’s influence on obesity. But, if you ponder for a minute, don’t you realize that all of these factors are impacted/influenced by one’s personality?
Your Behavior & Thoughts Direct Actions
According to a 50-year data analysis whose results have been published by the American Psychological Association, people who possess personality traits of high neuroticism and low conscientiousness are more likely to suffer from altering cycles of weight gain and weight loss throughout their lives.
Body Weight Affects Every Aspect of Life
Body weight is a very affluential factor when it comes to living-it has a strong impact on the way we lead our lives. Apart from affecting physical health greatly, it also disturbs psychological processes such as well-being and perception. Obese/overweight people often suffer from depression (but, in today’s scenario most of us go through a depression phase, for instance the famous Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone went through a depression phase sometime back in life but she wasn’t overweight!), are seen as a negative vibe by others, are branded with certain traits due to their body size and above all, many people don’t like to be associated with an overweight person as they fear of negative evaluation.
Generally, the traits in the five-factor model of personality (FFM) that include Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness are associated to health behaviors and outcomes generally and fluctuating weights particularly. Now, which among these five do you think is strongly linked with weights? It is conscientiousness and individuals having a higher degree of this trait have lower adiposity. That’s because these individuals are orderly, stick to their meal schedules, refrain from binge eating and drinking and follow an organized lifestyle that keeps them lean and strong. Binge eating can prove to be detrimental to health and for the complete set of side-effects due to eating disorders, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com. On the contrary, Neuroticism is strongly linked with abnormal weights. Underweight individuals, those who suffer from eating disorders and overweight/obese individuals (these people suffer from psychiatric issues) score high on neuroticism. Surprisingly, both kinds of extreme weights are strongly linked with this personality trait. The other three traits are not as dominant as conscientiousness and neuroticism in affecting weight.
Researchers assessed data from a longitudinal study of 2,000 people who were followed over a period of 50 years to understand whether personality traits are likely to affect weight and BMI and if so, list down the most common traits that affect weight. There were equal number of male and female participants involved in the study who were well-educated and healthy. The researchers assessed these participants on the Big-five traits of the FFM model along with 30 other subcategories of these traits. Results showed that:
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.