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Personality traits and body mass index

Title: Personality traits and body mass index: Modifiers and mechanisms.
Name(s): Sutin, Angelina R, author
Terracciano, Antonio, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2016-01-01
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: To identify how demographic factors (sex, age, ethnicity) modify the association between personality traits and body mass index (BMI) and to test the extent that diet and physical activity account for the personality-BMI relations. Cross-sectional study with a diverse sample (N = 5150, 50% female, 19% African American, 15% Hispanic). Participants completed a measure of the five major dimensions of personality and reported on their physical activity, diet and food intake behaviour, and height and weight. BMI and obesity (BMI ≥ 30). High Neuroticism was associated with higher BMI and risk for obesity, whereas Conscientiousness and, to a lesser extent, Extraversion and Openness were protective. These associations were generally stronger among women and older participants; there was less evidence for ethnicity as a moderator. Personality had similar relations with the behavioural factors, and physical activity, diet and regular meal rhythms accounted for approximately 50% of the association between Neuroticism and Conscientiousness and BMI. This study supports the links between personality traits and BMI and suggests that physical activity, more than diet, is a key factor in these associations.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_26274568 (IID), 10.1080/08870446.2015.1082561 (DOI), PMC4827155 (PMCID), 26274568 (RID), 26274568 (EID)
Keywords: Conscientiousness, Behavioural risk factors, Diet, Exercise, Five factor model, Obesity
Grant Number: R15 HD083947, 1R15HD083947
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Adolescent
Body Mass Index
Cross-Sectional Studies
Middle Aged
Motor Activity
Risk Factors
Young Adult
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Psychology & health.
Issue: iss. 3, vol. 31

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Sutin, A. R., & Terracciano, A. (2016). Personality traits and body mass index: Modifiers and mechanisms. Psychology & Health. Retrieved from