Association between Impulsivity and Weight Status in a General Population.

Nutrients. 2017 9(3):e217

Bénard M, Camilleri GM, Etilé F, Méjean C, Bellisle F, Reach G, Hercberg S, Péneau S.

The objective of this study is to examine the association between impulsivity and weight status in a large sample of the adult general population in France, and the influence of gender on this relationship. A total of 11,929 men and 39,114 women participating in the NutriNet-Santé cohort were selected in this cross-sectional analysis.
 
The Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) was used to assess impulsivity. Weight and height were self-reported. The association between impulsivity and BMI was estimated using logistic regressions adjusted for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors.
 
Individuals with high impulsivity levels (BIS-11 total score >71) were more likely to be obese (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.80, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.39, 2.33 in men; OR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.15, 1.48 in women) compared to individuals in the average range of impulsivity. The strongest associations between impulsivity and obesity were observed in men, where highly impulsive participants were more likely to be class III obese (BMI > 40 kg/m²) (OR = 3.57, 95% CI: 1.86, 6.85).
 
This large sample analysis supports the existence of a relationship between impulsivity and weight status and the importance of psychological factors in the prevention of obesity.