Personality and overweight in 6-12-year-old children

Pediatr Obes. 2015 Oct;10(5):e5-7. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12014. Epub 2015 Feb 27.


Background: Personality may be an important yet understudied influence on childhood obesity.

Objective: We investigated the association between children's personality traits and weight status in a sample of 1533 6-12 year olds.

Methods: Mothers rated their child's personality using the Norwegian Hierarchical Personality Inventory for Children, and reported on their child's height and weight.

Results: Relative to their normal weight peers, overweight children were rated lower on energy, optimism, compliance, concentration, perseverance, and self-confidence, and higher on egocentricity, irritability, and anxiety.

Conclusions: These findings suggest possible mechanisms to investigate in future research relating personality to childhood obesity.

Keywords: Behavioural mechanisms; children; obesity; personality traits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mothers* / psychology
  • Norway
  • Pediatric Obesity / psychology*
  • Personality