You may not be shocked to hear that people who gain weight tend to have certain personality traits, but would you be surprised to hear that gaining weight can also lead to personality changes? I was. Since weight is often such an emotional issue, researchers wanted to see if a change in weight had an effect on personality. They examined data from 1,900 subjects, including their weight and personality characteristics over a span of ten years. Turns out, people that had a 10% weight gain also became more impulsive. Even though the weight gainers were more likely to give in to temptation, people who gained weight also tended to think more about their actions.
One hypothesis of the increased deliberation is negative feedback. The researchers postulated that negative input from friends and family regarding their weight or food choices might have an impact on how they think. One of the researchers also suggested that repeatedly giving in to temptation may make it harder to have self control as time goes on. This means that as people gain weight they have more difficulty resisting temptations and continue to gain weight, thus perpetuating the cycle.
As just a plain-Jane girl I have trouble seeing which is causing which. To me it sounds much like a chicken and an egg scenario, but I think it’s fascinating that there’s even a possibility weight could affect personality. I’d be intrigued to hear about the opposite situation: does your personality change when you lose weight too?
What do you think?
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