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Personality Traits Associated with Weight Maintenance among Successful Weight Losers

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The influence of personality traits on successful weight loss has been studied previously with conflicting findings. Much less is known about the influence of personality traits on weight maintenance after weight loss. The aims of this study were to assess how personality traits were associated with motivational factors, dietary habits, self-weighing frequency, need for support, and difficulties encountered during the weight loss process in formerly successful weight maintainers.


This study was based upon findings from the Finnish Weight Control Registry, including 158 (100 women and 58 men, age 18-60 years) formerly obese participants with ≥10% weight loss and who maintained it ≥ 2 years. Data were collected through electronic forms and personality traits were assessed according to the Five Factor Model with the Finnish version of the Ten Item Personality Inventory.


Personality traits neuroticism, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were associated with motivational factors, self-weighing frequency, dietary habits, support, and difficulties during the weight loss process. Sex differences were observed.


Personality traits may be important in successful long-term weight maintenance after weight loss. Our results might not be generalizable in other populations because only Caucasians were included. The small sample size needs to be considered.
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Keywords: dietary habit; obesity; personality trait; weight loss; weight maintenance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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