Weight Gain Causes Personality Changes - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Weight Gain Causes Personality Changes


      From Science Daily

      People who gain weight are more likely to give in to temptations but also are more thoughtful about their actions, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

      To understand how fluctuations in body weight might relate to personality changes, psychological scientist Angelina Sutin of the Florida State University College of Medicine and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) examined data from two large-scale longitudinal studies of Baltimore residents.

      "We know a great deal about how personality traits contribute to weight gain," said Sutin. "What we don't know is whether significant changes in weight are associated with changes in our core personality traits. Weight can be such an emotional issue; we thought that weight gain may lead to long-term changes in psychological functioning."

      The studies, NIH's Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) and the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) study, included more than 1,900 people in total, of all ages and socioeconomic levels. Data about participants' personality traits and their body weight were collected at two time points separated by nearly a decade. In one study, a clinician measured participants' weight at the two time points; in the other study, the participants reported their weight at baseline and had it measured by a clinician at follow-up.

      Sutin and colleagues found that participants who had at least a 10 percent increase in body weight showed an increase in impulsiveness -- with a greater tendency to give in to temptations -- compared to those whose weight was stable. The data don't reveal whether increased impulsiveness was a cause or an effect of gaining weight, but they do suggest an intimate relationship between a person's physiology and his or her psychology.

      In a surprising twist, people who gained weight also reported an increase in deliberation, with a greater tendency to think through their decisions. Deliberation tends to increase for everyone in adulthood, but the increase was almost double for participants who gained weight compared to those whose weight stayed the same.
      "If mind and body are intertwined, then if one changes the other should change too," Sutin said. "That's what our findings suggest."

      Sutin and colleagues speculate that this increase in deliberation could be the result of negative feedback from family or friends -- people are likely to think twice about grabbing a second slice of cake if they feel that everyone is watching them take it.
      These findings suggest that even though people who gain weight are more conscious of their decision-making, they may still have difficulty resisting temptations.

      "The inability to control cravings may reinforce a vicious cycle that weakens the self-control muscle," the researchers note. "Yielding to temptation today may reduce the ability to resist cravings tomorrow. Thus, individuals who gain weight may have increased risk for additional weight gain through changes in their personality."
      Co-authors are National Institute on Aging researchers Paul Costa, Wayne Chan, Yuri Milaneschi, Alan Zonderman, Luigi Ferrucci, and Antonio Terracciano, also at Florida State University College of Medicine; and William Eaton of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

      The research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Aging and a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

      Story Source:
      The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Association for Psychological Science.
      Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

      Journal Reference:
      A. R. Sutin, P. T. Costa, W. Chan, Y. Milaneschi, W. W. Eaton, A. B. Zonderman, L. Ferrucci, A. Terracciano. I Know Not To, but I Can't Help It: Weight Gain and Changes in Impulsivity-Related Personality Traits. Psychological Science, 2013; DOI: 10.1177/0956797612469212

      Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...Weight+Loss%29
      Comments 6 Comments
      1. purebred's Avatar
        purebred -
        So weight gain may increase deliberation and impulsiveness? Almost sounds contradicting. Interesting research topic. I'd like to see further research.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        At least in my part of the world, there is NO anecdotal evidence for this claim. I know several overweight people who certainly still don't think things through.

        Now, there might be some that had a "lessons learned" some 50-100lb gain-in-weight later, and thus have begun to think long term due to the consequences they now face with overindulging and not exercising. Too many calories is rarely the reason why someone is overweight. Its usually due to lack of activity coupled with large, crappy meals and having too few of them every day. The metabolism gets shut down, thus making their body a fat-storing machine, in general.

        I agree with impulsiveness 100%. This society has no spine or morale anymore and that seems to be gaining poplularity every single year. It's hard for average joe's who have not identified purpose in their life to actually follow through with being active and eating with a conscience day after day.
      1. biscuits's Avatar
        biscuits -
        It's because sugar destroys dopamine receptors responsible for impulsiveness. Sugar is indeed a drug that works on the pleasure centers of your brain like meth.
      1. biscuits's Avatar
        biscuits -
        Eat sleep sex drugs. If any of these are disturbed expect your dopamine production to be as well
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        [QUOTE=biscuits;3983955]It's because sugar destroys dopamine receptors responsible for impulsiveness. Sugar is indeed a drug that works on the pleasure centers of your brain like meth.[/QUOTE

        Is that why women are so crazy about sweets and chocolate? I've noticed they tend to have it worse than men do...
      1. biscuits's Avatar
        biscuits -
        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
        Originally Posted by biscuits View Post
        It's because sugar destroys dopamine receptors responsible for impulsiveness. Sugar is indeed a drug that works on the pleasure centers of your brain like meth.
        Is that why women are so crazy about sweets and chocolate? I've noticed they tend to have it worse than men do...
        Very true. Women seem to be genetically disposed to more cravings. My theory is that women tend to need more fat for bodily functions hence higher bodyfat percentages. This is also why they tend to store fat around the hips and breast instead of the more unhealthy visceral fat. (Think of a mans beer belly).

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