Do our personalities change along with our weight?

When a person gains weight, it is pretty clear that their body goes through a physical change, but what other changes might accompany this process? Angelina Sutin of the Florida State University College of Medicine, sought the answer in this recent study of residents of Baltimore (over 1,900 participants). As expected, participants who had at least a 10% increase in body weight also demonstrating a substantial increase in their likelihood to give in to temptation; though the results did not show if this was a cause or an effect of the weight gain. What was surprising though was that the same participants who had gained weight also showed significantly more deliberation when making decisions, choosing to think through their decisions more than their non-weight gaining counterparts. These results beg the question of whether negative feedback from family and friends might be leading people to think twice about taking a second helping when they feel judgmental eyes on them. This study shows that even though individuals prone to weight gain deliberate more on decisions, they are often unable to resist the temptation they are deliberating, and the failure to resist temptation one day makes it more difficult to continue to resist on subsequent days.

 

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