Personality traits influencing weight loss

September 25, 2009

Being too optimistic could harm weight loss efforts. Research published in BioMed Central's open access journal, BioPsychoSocial Medicine, reveals the psychological characteristics that may contribute to weight loss.

Hitomi Saito from Doshisha University, Japan, worked with a team of researchers to psychologically profile 101 obese patients undergoing combined counselling, nutrition and exercise therapy at the Kansai Medical University Hospital Obesity Clinic over a period of 6 months. Patients' psychosocial characteristics before and after attending the clinic were assessed using psychological questionnaires designed to identify patients' personality types. Patients who were able to improve their self-awareness through counselling were more likely to lose weight than those who were not. Optimism and self-orientation characteristics improved for most patients after the 6-month program, although this was not related to . In fact, patients who started the program with high levels of self-orientation and optimistic characteristics were less likely to lose weight.

This result supports previous findings that some negative emotion has a positive effect on behavior modification because patients care more about their disease. However, the overall improvement in optimistic ego state is not necessarily detrimental, as this increased optimism should result in patients maintaining the healthy lifestyle achieved at the clinic.

"It is important to enhance patients' self-effectiveness and self-control in order to reduce and to maintain the weight loss", state the authors, however they are careful to stress that; "The weight loss should be attributed not simply to the intervention of the clinical psychologists but to the total effect of the intervention of a holistic medical care team."

More information: Psychological factors that promote behavior modification by obese patients; Hitomi Saito, Yutaka Kimura, Sawako Tashima, Nana Takao, Akinori Nakagawa, Takanobu Baba and Suguru Sato; BioPsychoSocial Medicine (in press); www.bpsmedicine.com/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Researchers develop new tool to assess individual's level of wisdom

September 20, 2017
Researchers at University of San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new tool called the San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE) to assess an individual's level of wisdom, based upon a conceptualization of wisdom as a trait ...

Alcohol use affects levels of cholesterol regulator through epigenetics

September 20, 2017
In an analysis of the epigenomes of people and mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Institutes of Health report that drinking alcohol may induce changes to a cholesterol-regulating gene.

One in four girls is depressed at age 14, new study reveals

September 20, 2017
New research shows a quarter of girls (24%) and one in 10 boys (9%) are depressed at age 14.

Tablets can teach kids to solve physical puzzles

September 20, 2017
Researchers confirm that when 4-6 year old children learn how to solve a puzzle using a touchscreen tablet, they can then apply this learning to the same puzzle in the physical world. This contradicts most previous research ...

How the shape and size of your face relates to your sexuality

September 19, 2017
Men and women with shorter, wider faces tend to be more sexually motivated and to have a stronger sex drive than those with faces of other dimensions. These are the findings from a study led by Steven Arnocky of Nipissing ...

Behavioral therapy increases connectivity in brains of people with OCD

September 19, 2017
UCLA researchers report that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, when treated with a special form of talk therapy, demonstrate distinct changes in their brains as well as improvement in their symptoms.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.