If you are impulsive in making decisions, chances are that you may become obese, say experts who found a link between having an impulsive personality and a high body mass index (BMI).
The findings demonstrate that having an impulsive personality -- the tendency to consistently react with little forethought -- is the key factor that links brain patterns of impulsivity and a high BMI. "Our research points to impulsive personality as a risk factor for weight gain," said lead researcher Francesca Filbey, Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Dallas.
Overweight and obesity are known to increase blood pressure -- the leading cause of strokes. Excess weight also increases your chances of developing other problems linked to strokes, including high cholesterol, high blood sugar and heart disease.
For the self-report, researchers used an impulsive sensation-seeking scale to gauge innate personality characteristics. The neuro-psychological measure sought to assess whether an individual's decision-making style was more impulsive or cautious.
An fMRI was used to examine brain activation and connectivity during an impulse control task. The results showed that "individuals with a high BMI exhibited altered neural function compared to normal weight individuals", Filbey noted.
The study was published in the journal Obesity.