Your personality changes after losing weight

Long-term study: how character affects body weight

We all get fatter as we age. Statistically speaking, anyway. Because a 60-year-old always weighs more than a 30-year-old on average. The metabolism is to blame for this. Because with the years of life he needs less and less energy.

But because we still consume the same or even larger amounts, hardly anyone is spared having to watch the numbers climb on the scales. The beautiful summer trousers that had been sitting so loosely for years then pinch at some point.

How many pounds more sit on each hip after 30 years, however, there are considerable differences. And how quickly and often people put on and lose weight can also be very different.

A large long-term study by US psychologists has now dealt with why people differ so much in terms of weight and weight.

"Body weight is a big part of how we see ourselves and others, and of course how others see us," says Angelina Sutin of the US National Institute of Aging in Baltimore. Almost everyone tries to conform to the current ideals of beauty - with more or less success.

She and her colleagues examined a total of more than 1900 people over a period of 50 years. Each of the participants was medically examined seven times and repeatedly created a profile of their personality.

The scientists finally found that regardless of the test subjects' genetic predisposition and socio-economic background, very specific personality traits played a role in whether someone gained weight slowly over time or got into a cycle of constant weight gain and loss.

“It seems that weight is, so to speak, a physical expression of the individual and very characteristic way of thinking, feeling and acting,” says Sutin.

Researchers determine the five main dimensions of personality

For their tests, the researchers recorded the so-called Big Five: the five main dimensions of personality. These are based on the assumption that personality traits are reflected in language.

Many years ago psychologists used thousands of terms to create five categories that characterize personality. First tested in western culture, these dimensions could explain why people think, feel and act so differently. But the Big Five has also been proven to work in over 50 other cultures around the world.

The first dimension, neuroticism, describes a person's emotional instability. People with a high score are often tense, worried, insecure, or anxious, and they are faster and longer than other people. Low values, on the other hand, represent emotional stability.

Extraversion as the second dimension describes how active and sociable a person is and how much they are out of themselves. People who achieve high scores here are talkative, cordial, optimistic and enthusiastic.