Lose Anger, Lose Weight

Office Worker Yelling at Computer

Men who are angry and hostile pack on more pounds over time than women or their less angry, more laid-back peers, suggests a French study, which found that the more hostile a man’s personality, the more his body mass index (BMI) increased during an extended period. The researchers noted that hostility could affect weight in many ways; for example, hostile men may be less likely to follow dietary health guidelines, tend to exercise less and are more likely to be depressed—all factors known to contribute to unhealthy weight gain.

Researchers reviewed data on 6,484 men and women participating in a U.K. study of socioeconomic status and health. Participants ranged in age from 35 to 55 at the study’s outset. Results culled over a 19-year period showed that, while the relationship between BMI and hostility remained constant for women, hostility seemed to accelerate weight gain over time in men.

Source: American Journal of Epidemiology, 2009