Association of Personality Traits with Dietary Habits and Food/Taste Preferences

Najmeh Golestanbagh, M. Miraghajani, Reza Amani, Michael E. Symonds, Sorour Neamatpour, Mohammad Hosein Haghighizadeh


Background: Personality plays an important role in food choices. The aim of this study was to assess the association of personality traits with dietary habits and food preferences. Methods: This cross‑sectional study was carried out on 224 healthy female students aged 18–30 years with a normal BMI. Dietary habits, food preferences, and personality were assessed using validated questionnaire. Results: Our results showed that neuroticism and openness were associated with low scores while conscientiousness was related to high scores of dietary habits (r = ‑0.33 P < 0.001, r = ‑0.13, P < 0.05 and r = 0.26, P < 0.001, respectively). In addition, neuroticism was correlated with preference to salty, sour and fatty foods and negatively associated with dairy products (P < 0.05). Extraversion showed a positive correlation with preference to fast foods, ice cream, chocolate, cocoa, and negative correlation with meat. Openness was positively correlated with preference for meat and biscuit and negatively correlated with fruits (P < 0.05). Agreeableness was related to having soft drinks and sweetened fruit juices and conscientiousness had a positive association with preference to dairy products, vegetables, nuts, food with salty tastes, and a negative association with biscuits (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Overall, assessing personality traits could be useful to identify young women who may be at risk of unhealthy dietary habits.


Body mass index; feeding behavior; food preferences; personality; taste

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