Monday, January 14, 2008

Dieting is Hardest for One Personality Type

People who eat when they are lonely or sad have the hardest time losing weight and keeping it off, according to a study from The Miriam Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I., reports Reuters. Often called "emotional eaters," this group tends to view food as a reward.

"We found that the more people report eating in response to thoughts and feelings, the less weight they lost," Heather Niemeier, an obesity researcher at The Miriam Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, said in a statement. "Amongst successful weight losers, those who report emotional eating are more likely to regain."

The study: Two different groups of volunteers participated. The first was a group of 286 overweight men and women, all of whom were part of a behavioral weight loss program. The second was a group of more than 3,300 adults who had each lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year. Each participant completed an eating inventory questionnaire.

The results: The researchers found that when people overeat, it is often because of external influences, such as overindulging at a party, or internal influences, such as feeling lonely or sad. The more frequently someone eats for internal reasons, the less weight he or she loses. "Our results suggest that we need to pay more attention to eating triggered by emotions or thoughts as they clearly play a significant role in weight loss," Niemeier said.

The study, which was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, was published in the journal Obesity.

--From the Editors at Netscape