Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Paul Burghardt


Two out of three people are obese in the United States, but Western culture isn’t the only population suffering from obesity and comorbidities. Many factors contribute to this global epidemic and more recently various research suggests that personality traits can be used to predict eating behaviors. This study investigated the Big Five personality trait’s influence on food consumption to determine what traits contribute to healthy eating and what traits are susceptible to overeating and therefore, poor health consequences. The Big Five personality traits, anthropometric measures, and diet logs were used to assess 38 individuals for health-related behaviors and obesity-related risk factors. Linear regression showed an inverse relationship with conscientiousness and weight, as well as with BMI. Other findings include an inverse relationship with extraversion and BMI in ages 32-40. Vegetable consumption was also inversely related to WHR, which suggest that people with a smaller WHR are consuming more vegetables and likely a healthier diet overall. These findings support a body of evidence relating personality traits’ influence on anthropometrics and consummatory behavior. By understanding personality traits, preventative measures may be used for those at high risk for weight gain, obesity, and chronic diseases.