Your ability to lose weight might be defined by your temperament, not your willpower. A new study led by Lynette Mackey from QUT’s Institute of Healthy and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) is investigating whether certain personality traits are linked to being overweight or obese.
"Food does provide a neurological signal of reward to the brain and those who are have a personality type that is sensitive to reward are more likely to eat tasty, sweet, and fatty food simply because it is rewarding," Mackey told Medical Xpress.
One's ability to "stop and think" before eating comes from part of the temperament known as "effortful control" - in short, approaching a reward based on the positive feeling we get from it.
Another factor at play is one's sensitivity to punishment. People who associate food with high reward are less likely to do something that causes discomfort or puts them in an unrewarding state.
The study was conducted on approximately 200 non-smoking men and women with a body mass index of 25 or greater, and the initial results are due next month.