Do you love green vegetables or, conversely, a good rare steak? According to researchers, your eating habits say a lot about your character. Results commented on by Vanessa Bedjaï-Haddad, dietitian-nutritionist.
According to a recent study, published in Appetite, being kind, sociable or anxious translates onto the plate. Explanations.
Vegetarians and vegans would be more open
To better understand the personality-diet link, a team of scientists combined data from several previous studies (PsycINFO, Scopus and Web of Science Core Collection).
The idea here was to identify studies examining eating habits with personality traits such as:
- Open-mindedness (creativity, curiosity, attraction to new experiences, etc.);
- Agreeableness (kindness, cooperation, empathy, etc.);
- Neuroticism (anxiety, negativity, etc.);
- “Consciousness”, which could come close to a form of rigor (organization, self-discipline, etc.);
- Extroversion (exaggerated sociability).
To do this, nine studies were selected to compare distinctions between vegetarians and omnivores and a further eight studies were included to explore differences between vegetarians and vegans. In total, data from 69,576 participants were analyzed.
More open-minded and pleasant vegans?
Result ? Vegetarian or vegan candidates were more “open minded” et “pleasant“than the omnivores. The vegans showed up again”more open” than vegetarians.
“People from Western cultures who are more open to experience are more likely to be vegetarians than omnivores and more likely to be vegans than vegetarians, while people who are more agreeable are more likely to be vegetarians, but this trait does not distinguish vegetarians and vegans”, confirms one of the researchers on the PsyPost site.
Concerning the other personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion and conscientiousness), the researchers did not find a significant link between the chosen diet and the character.
Education and opinions also influence the content of the plate
If these results are “fun“, estimates Vanessa Bedjaï-Haddad, dietitian-nutritionist, but it is nevertheless difficult to draw conclusions.
“What we are fundamentally determines our lifestyle choices and therefore our consumption patterns and our eating habits. But to receive people in my office all day long, I assure you that it is not so simple to make generalizations! There are very open people as well as more obtuse people who decide to limit or eliminate their consumption of foods of animal origin. Those who are open-minded will hear that everyone does what they please, on the contrary those who are less tolerant will not tolerate others not following the same voice! We can feel at ease with others, be caring and not feel ready despite being aware of our neighbors and the environment to make choices excluding a food group because pleasure or education is stronger…”recalls the expert.
We will not consume in the same way (industrial vs. artisanal, plant vs. animal, local vs. international, etc.)”according to his personality, his education, his opinions“, she concludes.