So you’re the impulsive type? Better watch your waistline.

Friday, January 27, 2017

So you're the impulsive type? Better watch your waistline.

If you're constantly grabbing garbage food just because you, y'know, feel like it, then set down the cupcake and read this.

Can’t stop yourself from buying stuff when it’s on sale? Play a few (hundred) hands of online poker every day?

If you often find yourself struggling with impulsivity, chances are, you're probably overweight, too, says a new study from the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas, which found that people with an impulsive personality are more likely to have a high body mass index (BMI).

In the study, researchers asked 45 people—aged 22–43, with an average BMI of 30.7, which is obese—and tested their impulsivity by asking them to rate statements like “I tend to change interests frequently” or “I tend to begin a new job without much advance planning on how I will do it.” The researchers also monitored the subjects' brain activity as they performed impulse control tasks.

Francesca Filbey, Ph.D., the principal investigator, said that subjects with a high BMI showed different brain function compared to normal-sized people. "We expected that an impaired ability to inhibit impulses would be the factor linking high BMI and brain change, but our study showed that having the inherent, impulsive personality trait, not an impulsive decision-making state in a specific situation or in response to vices, is the mediating factor.”

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