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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Associations of Personality with Body Mass Index and Obesity in a Large Late Midlife Community Sample

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  • Cathrine Lawaetz Wimmelmann
  • Rikke Lund
  • Trine Flensborg-Madsen
  • Ulla Christensen
  • Merete Osler
  • Erik Lykke Mortensen
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OBJECTIVE: The study examined cross-sectional associations of personality with BMI and obesity among men and women in a large late midlife community sample.

METHODS: The sample comprised 5,286 Danish individuals aged 49-63 years from the Copenhagen Ageing and Midlife Biobank (CAMB) with complete information on measured BMI, personality assessed by the NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO FFI), and sociodemographic factors including sex, age and educational length. Analysis of variance and logistic regression models were used to investigate associations between personality and BMI as well as obesity. Personality traits were analyzed separately and combined in the same model.

RESULTS: All personality traits except for neuroticism were significantly associated with BMI, with extraversion (p value ranged from <0.001 to 0.012) and agreeableness (p value ranged from 0.001 to 0.002) being the most consistent predictors of BMI among men and women, respectively. Furthermore, extraversion among men (high scores) (p = 0.016) and agreeableness among women (low scores) (p = 0.026) were the only personality traits significantly associated with obesity when adjusting for duration of education.

CONCLUSION: Personality was significantly associated with BMI and to a lesser extent with obesity, and these associations differed between men and women. Also, it was suggested that the interrelations of the five personality traits should be considered in future research of personality and health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalObesity Facts
Volume11
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)129-143
Number of pages15
ISSN1662-4025
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 54689497