Heav­ily per­sonal

CSIRO’s five traits that af­fect weight

Herald Sun - - NEWS - ROSE BREN­NAN

YOUR per­son­al­ity is to blame for weight gain — but it is also the key to keep­ing ki­los at bay.

An in­abil­ity to con­trol crav­ings, suf­fer­ing from un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions and im­pul­sive eating are among the char­ac­ter­is­tics of five ma­jor diet per­son­al­i­ties iden­ti­fied by CSIRO sci­en­tists. The or­gan­i­sa­tion an­a­lysed the eating habits of more than 90,000 Aus­tralians.

CSIRO be­havioural sci­en­tist Dr Sinead Gol­ley, who coau­thored the report, said if peo­ple wanted to diet suc­cess­fully they must un­der­stand their per­son­al­ity and the “trig­gers” that de­rail their ef­forts.

“The Thinker” is the most com­mon diet type of Aus­tralians, ac­count­ing for 37 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion and es­pe­cially com­mon in women.

These eaters tended to over-an­a­lyse their progress, had un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions and feel­ings of fail­ure which de­railed their di­ets. One in four peo­ple was a “Craver”. These peo­ple found it hard to re­sist temp­ta­tion and were pre­dis­posed to overeat­ing. More than half of all Cravers were obese.

“One in five Cravers have tried to lose weight more than 25 times and they say that choco­late and con­fec­tionery are the biggest prob­lem foods to re­sist,” Dr Gol­ley said.

“On the other hand … the ‘Thinker’ tends to have high ex­pec­ta­tions and tend to be per­fec­tion­ists, giv­ing up when things get chal­leng­ing.”

About 17 per cent of peo­ple were “The So­cialiser”, with food and al­co­hol play­ing a big role in their ac­tive so­cial life.

Those who iden­ti­fied as “The Foodie” were most likely to be a healthy weight but they only make up 16 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion.

They were pas­sion­ate about food and had a diet high in veg­eta­bles and healthy food, and al­co­hol made up a third of the junk food they took in.

The “Free­wheeler” ac­counted for just 4 per cent of peo­ple. They were spon­ta­neous and im­pul­sive eaters with the poor­est qual­ity diet.

This group was mostly men who avoided plan­ning meals. Over half were obese.

Dr Gol­ley said re­searchers also found per­son­al­ity pat­terns across gen­er­a­tions. Baby Boomers and those aged over 71 years were more likely to be So­cialis­ers and Food­ies.

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