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How Do Your Personality, Luck, and Gender Affect Your Health?

By Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Do you believe fate or luck is a critical factor when it comes to to enjoying a healthy lifestyle or losing weight? Or is your personality a better predictor? Perhaps even more interesting — how does your gender affect your ability to make healthy choices?

Personality and Gender Affect Healthy Life Choices

Healthy Woman Chooses to MultiTask

Researchers from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research looked at data about the diet, exercise and personality type of more than 7,000 people and discovered that personality definitely has an effect on weight loss and good health. Those people who, like “The Little Engine That Could,” believe they can change their lives through their own actions eat healthier food, exercise more, smoke less and stay away from binge drinking.

People who are more like Eeyore, (the donkey from Winnie-the-Pooh), believe that luck or fate are responsible for their situation. These people tend to be less healthy because they don’t see themselves as fully in charge of their own lives.

Simply said, a “can do” attitude leads to a healthier lifestyle. Join us now in a chorus of “Anything you can do I can do better!”[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO23WBji_Z0[/youtube] Men and Women Differ in Weight Loss Motivation

Arnold Will Pump You Up

Interestingly, the motivation for leading a healthy life differs for men and women. Women are motivated by the desire to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, while men want physical results. Pump me up! Go Hans! Go Franz! Go Fun! Go Fit!

What Do Leading Experts on Obesity and Overweight Research Say?

Dr Jim HillWe asked the number one obesity expert and our go-to-guy, Dr James Hill, Executive Director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, for his take on this latest twist. (Get more of his insights on weight loss and obesity here: Lose 2 Pounds in 2 Days.  You may also enjoy Lose Weight or Maintain Weight? prompted by another Anschutz professor, Dr. Holly Wyatt).

It totally makes sense that expectations about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle would affect outcomes. Interesting that men and women have different expectations. I definitely believe we need different weight management programs for men and women – and not just for different expectations. Men and women approach weight loss very differently. Women have to have a comprehensive experience while men just need to understand what they need to do and do it.” Dr. James Hill

Aren’t we all lucky to have optimistic personalities so we can control our own health and weight outcomes? Info and education alone don’t cut the mustard … or pounds. The belief in our ability to make change is the ultimate tool to a healthy life at any age or either gender.

Photo credits: CreativeCommons.org –  infomatique (multi-tasking woman)

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