Does personality influence eating styles and food choices? Direct and indirect effects.
Sommaire de l'article
In a random sample (N = 951) from the general population, direct and indirect effects of the Big Five personality traits on eating styles and food choices were examined. Path models revealed that high openness to experience were associated with higher fruit, vegetable and salad and lower meat and soft drink consumption. High agreeableness was associated with low meat consumption. Neuroticism, conscientiousness and extraversion significantly and directly influenced eating styles and significantly indirectly influenced food choices. Conscientiousness mainly promoted fruit consumption by promoting restrained eating and prevented meat consumption by reducing external eating. Conscientiousness prevented consumption of sweet and savory foods, and of sugar-sweetened soft drinks by promoting restrained eating and reducing external eating, and consumption of sweet and savory foods also by reducing emotional eating. Neuroticism promoted consumption of sweet and savory foods by promoting emotional and external eating. Extraversion promoted sweet and savory, meat and soft drink consumption via promoting external eating. Results suggest that neurotic and emotionally unstable individuals seem to adopt counter-regulatory external or emotional eating and eat high-energy dense sweet and savory foods. Highly conscientious individuals adopt regulatory dietary restraint and practice counter-regulatory emotional or external eating less, resulting in more consumption of recommended and less consumption of not recommended food. The higher sociability of extraverted people, which is basically a health beneficial psychological resource, seems to have health-averse effects. Personality traits are stable; however, the resulting more proximal, counter-regulatory eating styles such as emotional or external eating might be more successfully addressed in interventions to prevent overeating and overweight.