[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 24-Sep-2009
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Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-203-192-2165
BioMed Central

Personality traits influencing weight loss

Being too optimistic could harm weight loss efforts. Research published in BioMed Central's open access journal, BioPsychoSocial Medicine, reveals the psychological characteristics that may contribute to weight loss.

Hitomi Saito from Doshisha University, Japan, worked with a team of researchers to psychologically profile 101 obese patients undergoing combined counselling, nutrition and exercise therapy at the Kansai Medical University Hospital Obesity Clinic over a period of 6 months. Patients' psychosocial characteristics before and after attending the clinic were assessed using psychological questionnaires designed to identify patients' personality types. Patients who were able to improve their self-awareness through counselling were more likely to lose weight than those who were not. Optimism and self-orientation characteristics improved for most patients after the 6-month program, although this was not related to weight loss. In fact, patients who started the program with high levels of self-orientation and optimistic characteristics were less likely to lose weight.

This result supports previous findings that some negative emotion has a positive effect on behavior modification because patients care more about their disease. However, the overall improvement in optimistic ego state is not necessarily detrimental, as this increased optimism should result in patients maintaining the healthy lifestyle achieved at the clinic.

"It is important to enhance patients' self-effectiveness and self-control in order to reduce psychological stress and to maintain the weight loss", state the authors, however they are careful to stress that; "The weight loss should be attributed not simply to the intervention of the clinical psychologists but to the total effect of the intervention of a holistic medical care team."

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Notes to Editors

1. Psychological factors that promote behavior modification by obese patients
Hitomi Saito, Yutaka Kimura, Sawako Tashima, Nana Takao, Akinori Nakagawa, Takanobu Baba and Suguru Sato
BioPsychoSocial Medicine (in press)

During embargo, article available here: http://www.bpsmedicine.com/imedia/7111970892205078_article.pdf?random=800102

After the embargo, article available at journal website: http://www.bpsmedicine.com/

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request at press@biomedcentral.com on the day of publication

2. BioPsychoSocial Medicine is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal that encompasses all aspects of the interrelationships between the biological, psychological, social, and behavioral factors of health and illness. BioPsychoSocial Medicine is the official journal of the Japanese Society of Psychosomatic Medicine, and publishes research on psychosomatic disorders and diseases that are characterized by objective organic changes and/or functional changes that could be induced, progressed, aggravated, or exacerbated by psychological, social, and/or behavioral factors and their associated psychosomatic treatments.

3. BioMed Central (www.biomedcentral.com) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.



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