Results of a recent research study have been analysed in The Guardian – What’s the connection between your weight and your personality? The research measured three scales of personality which were extroverted and enthusiastic, dependable and organised & emotionally stable and calm. It then compared these with the sizes people reported themselves to be as well as how much they actually weighed. People who scored higher on extroversion felt they were taller and slimmer than they actually were and the males weighed more than those males that scored low. The more someone scored on the dependable scale the lower in weight they were. Those scoring lower on emotional stability tended to think they were heavier than they actually were and the women who scored higher weighed more than the women that scored lower.
It is not surprising that those that are more conscientious weigh less as they would be more able to stick to a diet. However, it is difficult to understand the gender differences in the study. Why do extroverted men tend to weigh more but this is not the case for women and why did women who were less emotional stable weigh more than women who were not but there was not the same trend for men?
Obviously these results may not be typical for everyone, as we are all individuals after all. However, it is interesting to see that there are effects on weight in some people depending on their personality. Emotional eating is something that many people are familiar with, for example, but is it more wide reaching than that? Is there anything that can be done to prevent it now that it has been identified? Is there anything you can do?
It can feel difficult as personalities are often seen as something that we are born with and cannot change. However, it is possible to increase in confidence and to learn techniques to cope better with situations so that we do not get so emotional. It is even possible to use methods to become more organised. Therefore it may be possible in the future to use personality change methods to reduce weight.