Sunday, March 2, 2008

Thinnest People Have This Personality

Sociable, outgoing extroverts may be the life of the party, but they are also heavier than their friends who are anxious worriers. According to new research from Japan, the thinnest people are those who are nervous and fretful.

Reuters reports that the study, published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, surveyed more than 30,000 people in northeastern Japan between the ages of 40 and 64 to determine if there is a link between personality and body mass. The researchers took height and weight measurements for each of the participants and gave each a personality test.

Led by Masako Kakizaki of Tohoku University, the team found that outgoing people are far more likely than their quieter, worried friends to have a body mass index (or BMI) of more than 25. BMI is a measure of weight in relation to height.

Reuters reports that when the researchers controlled for other factors, such as smoking, men who were the most extroverted were 1.73 times more likely to be obese than the most introverted people. Meanwhile, extroverted women were 1.53 times more likely to be obese.

In addition, those who had the most anxious personalities were twice as likely as the least anxious to be underweight or have a BMI of less than 18.5.

"These results may provide clues to devising more effective measures for preventing overweight, obesity or underweight," the researchers said in their paper.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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