What your diet says about your personality.
Eating more meat is a sign of being extraverted, new research finds.
Vegetarians and vegans, meanwhile, are more likely to be introverted.
However, vegetarians also tend to be slimmer than their meat- eating peers.
This is probably because avoiding animal foods reduces the intake of fat and sugar.
Dr Veronica Witte, study co-author, is not sure exactly why vegetarians tend to be more introverted:
“It could be because more introverted people tend to have more restrictive eating habits or because they are more socially segregated because of their eating habits.”
The conclusions come from a study of 8,943 people in Germany who were given a test of personality, along with other measures.
The researchers had expected to find a link between diet and neuroticism, but did not.
Dr Witte said:
“Earlier analyses had found that more neurotic people were generally more likely to avoid certain groups of foods and to behave more restrictively.
We focused here solely on the avoidance of animal products and could not observe any correlation.”
People who are neurotic are more likely to experience depression and anxiety.
Indeed, some research finds that plant-based diets are linked to depression.
However, there was no evidence of this in the current study.
Dr Witte said:
“It is possible that in previous analyses other factors had blurred the results, including the BMI or conspicuous personality traits that are known to be associated with depression.
We accounted for them.”
The lower weight of vegetarians and vegans is less mysterious.
Ms Evelyn Medawar, the study’s first author, said:
“Products that are excessively rich in fat and sugar are particularly fattening.
They stimulate the appetite and delay the feeling of satiety.
If you avoid animal foods, you consume fewer such products on average.
People who eat predominantly vegetable foods may therefore absorb less energy.”
The study was published in the journal Nutrients (Medawar et al., 2020).
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This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.
It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.
I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.