An analysis of how a healthy outlook reflected on people's lifestyle through a data on their diet, exercise and personality type was made by a team of researchers.
The study by Australian researchers found that those who believe their life can be changed by their own actions ate healthier food, exercised more, smoked less and avoided binge drinking.
AdvertisementProfessor Deborah Cobb-Clark, Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, said that those who have a greater faith in "luck" or "fate" are more likely to live an unhealthy life.
"Our research shows a direct link between the type of personality a person has and a healthy lifestyle," she said.
Professor Cobb-Clark hoped that the study would help inform public health policies on conditions such as obesity.
"The main policy response to the obesity epidemic has been the provision of better information, but information alone is insufficient to change people's eating habits," she said.
"Understanding the psychological underpinning of a person's eating patterns and exercise habits is central to understanding obesity," she added.
The study also found men and women hold different views on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Men wanted physical results from their healthy choices, while women were more receptive to the everyday enjoyment of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Professor Cobb-Clarke said that the research demonstrated the need for more targeted policy responses.
"What works well for women may not work well for men.
"Gender specific policy initiatives which respond to these objectives may be particularly helpful in promoting healthy lifestyles," she said.
The study used data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.
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