The Psychology Behind Diet

Assessing the Impact of Emotion Regulation and Type-D Personality Traits on Dietary Choices

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Dietary habits refer to the set of choices or decisions one makes regarding the foods consumed. They include choices and decisions on what to eat when to eat, how much to eat, and where to eat. Taste preferences, food diversity, frequency of meal consumption, portion sizes, snacking behavior, and meal skipping all have an impact on this. According to research, not only physiological but also psychological elements such as emotions, stress, and personality differences influence our dietary choices. Many studies have been conducted to determine how to alter problematic eating choices by regulating emotions. Understanding one’s personality type, on the other hand, can help someone to become more aware of the foods liked and disliked. This is the first study to look at the combined effect of emotion regulation strategies and, in particular, Type-D personality type on eating choices. This thesis focused on women from various ethnic origins. The study looked at which emotion control strategies, such as cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, were employed. Individuals were also assessed on the extent to which they were in the possession of a Type-D personality type by scoring on the two variables in this model, which are negative affectivity and social inhibition. This study hypothesized that people with Type-D personality, or those who score high in Negative Affectivity and Social Inhibition, employ less emotion regulation strategies and make poor dietary choices. The main findings confirm the hypothesis. As per the findings, reappraisal strategies outperform suppression methods. It was discovered that when reappraisal methods were used, women preferred more healthy food items like vegetables. However, when suppression strategies were used, unhealthy food items such as snacks were favored. Furthermore, the study looked at how age, a control variable, affected the use of emotion regulation strategies in food choices. Younger women were found to apply more reappraisal strategies for healthier foods, whereas older women used suppressing methods. In conclusion, this study confirmed previous research on the independent influence of emotion regulation and personality type on diet, and it also added new insights to the research by examining the combined effect of these factors on diet choices.