CSIRO’s five traits that affect weight
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.