Personality traits, motivation and bone health in vegetarians

Coll Antropol. 2012 Sep;36(3):795-800.


Vegetarian diets attract more and more attention due to growing concerns about health, ecology and/or animal welfare in general population. The main purpose of this paper was to examine whether vegetarianism could be associated with some specific personality characteristics, with the emphasis on the main motivational factors which determined acquiring the diet. Since the nutrition is also an important determinant of bone health we additionally analyzed the association between personal characteristics and bone density. On a sample of 109 adult vegetarians of both sexes we applied Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (including Psychoticism, Extraversion, Neuroticism and Lie scale), bone densitometry and questionnaire on dominant motives for dietary choices. The results on overall personality characteristics, bone density and basic anthropometric measures were within expected values for age. Vegetarian men had significantly more fractures during lifetime and lower neuroticism scores than women. Dominant motivational factors for acquiring vegetarianism were moral values. In addition "moral vegetarians" showed more pronounced introversion compared to "health vegetarians", lending further support to the argument that personality plays an important role in the structure of motivation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Density*
  • Diet, Vegetarian / psychology*
  • Diet, Vegetarian / statistics & numerical data*
  • Extraversion, Psychological
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Neurotic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology*
  • Personality*