Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



Korean J Obes 2013; 22(2): 100-106

Published online June 30, 2013

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Association between Personality and Eating Style in Korean Obese Adults

Ha Min Jang, Sul Ki Kim, Nam Yi Kim, Hyun Joo Yoon, Hye Young Cho, Kyoung Sang Ha,
Kyoung Kon Kim, Heuy Sun Suh, Ki Dong Ko, In Cheol Hwang*, Kwon Ki Kim(1), Chang Gyu Ahn(2)

Department of Family Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Cheron Gil Hospital(1), Korea Career Counseling Institute(2)

Received: February 7, 2013; Reviewed : March 17, 2013; Accepted: April 23, 2013

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Background: Close relations have been observed between obesity and eating habits, which is affected by personality traits, however, only few studies are available and little is known concerning this topic.
Methods: This study group consisted of 141 Korean participants with body mass index of at least 27 kg/m2 and an age range of 18~50 years. Eating habits were measured by the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire and personality traits were assessed using NEO-Abstract Self-report form. Multivariate regression analyses were performed to study the relationship between personality traits and eating habits.
Results: A higher BMI was associated with a higher level of extraversion and a lower level of openness. Emotional eating was positively associated with neuroticism in both men and women. Restrained eating was significantly associated with neuroticism in men. In contrast openness and conscientiousness was associated with neuroticism in women. After adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and other subscales of personality traits, association between restrained eating and conscientiousness remained robust.
Conclusions: In obese Korean adults, those who scored higher on conscientiousness of personality traits showed a tendency of restrained eating habit.

Keywords: Personality trait, Eating habit, Obesity

Fig. 1.

Association between personality trait and body mass index.

P-trends were calculated using multivariate regression analysis after adjusting other 4 personality domains, age and sex.

Q, body mass index quartile.

Cronbach's alpha for each subscale

Descriptive characteristics

Spearman correlation coefficients for the association between personality traits and eating habit

Multivariate regression analyses for the contribution of personality traits to the variance of eating habit (n = 135)

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