The Visual Weight Loss System - VEEP

Personality Characteristics Predispose Towards Overweight

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A new study indicates certain personality characteristics are associated with excess weight.

The International Journal of Obesity has published a fascinating report that suggests personality characteristics may predispose a person towards obesity or being overweight.

In a nutshell, the study shows a strong correlation between obesity and a personality prone to novelty seeking and low self-direction.

Someone high in novelty seeking can be described as a person who is quick tempered, easily bored, impulsive, extravagant and disorderly.  

A person low in novelty seeking is someone who is seen as slow to anger, stoic, reflective, frugal, orderly and reserved.

A person low in self-directedness tends to be blaming, irresponsible, reactive, and have a difficult time defining and setting goals.

The study examined 53 obese individuals and 183 obese subjects enrolled in a weight management program. With the TCI, (Temperament and Character Inventory) a widely used psychological battery designed to identify the 7 dimensions of personality.

The results of the obese group were compared with lean subjects with some intriguing results. Obese subjects tended to score higher in novelty seeking and lower in persistence and self-directedness.  Interestingly, the 183 obese subjects involved in a weight management program, scored higher than the other group of obese subjects, and higher than the general population in cooperativeness and reward dependence.  

Most interesting, the patients who were most successful with their weight loss over time were those who scored lower in novelty seeking.

Essentially, the study tells us that impulsiveness and inability to set and achieve goals make you more prone to being overweight.