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Weight Problems: People With Impulsive Personalities More Likely To Gain Weight

Update Date: Jan 23, 2017 08:06 PM EST

Healthy eating and regular exercise are two of the most popular factors that contribute to healthy weight loss. However, people who were once fat and have successfully lost and maintained their ideal weight will say that besides these two factors, mental power also plays a huge role.

A recent study, conducted by researchers from the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas, was able to determine that people with impulsive personalities are more likely to gain weight and become obese.

According to Dr. Francesca Fibley, principal investigator of the study, people with impulsive personalities or people who are most likely to react with little afterthought is the key link between brain patterns of impulsivity and high body mass index in adults. Addressing the impulsive trait in the individual will help in the effectivity of weight loss programs.

The study, published in the journal Obesity, recruited forty-five individuals with a mean age average of 32.6 years old and with a mean body mass index of 30.7. In order to determine the role of impulsivity in regards to increasing body mass index, the participants in the study were tested for traits of impulsivity through the impulsive-seeking scale.

The continuous performance test was conducted to assess the state of impulsivity and a functional MRI was used during a response inhibition task to determine brain activities.

The researchers found that body mass index and impulsivity traits have a positive correlation. The state of impulsivity also showed positive correlation in regards with body mass index.However, body mass index and regional activation on some parts of the brain demonstrated negative correlations.

This means that body mass index or the tendency of people to gain weight is affected by the inherent impulsive traits in people. This impulsive behavior also contributes to changes in the brain. Furthermore, the researchers were able to determine that it is not the state of impulsivity or impulsive responses that link to high body mass index

The study recommends treatments or interventions that will curb the inherent impulsive traits or behaviors in an individual to effectively implement weight-loss programs.In addition, the researchers found that increased self-awareness of impulsivity is helpful in regulating other kinds of behaviors.

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