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J Epidemiol. 2008;18(4):183-90. Epub 2008 Jul 7.

Rationality/anti-emotionality personality and dietary habits in a community population in Japan.

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Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Gifu University School of Medicine, Japan.



There are no strong and consistent predictors of dietary habits although some associations have been shown with psychological factors. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationships between the rationality and anti-emotionality (R/A) personality and dietary consumption in a Japanese community.


The Takayama study is a community-based cohort study on diet and cancer in Gifu, Japan, and was initiated on September 1, 1992. Cross-sectional analyses were conducted on dietary and lifestyle data. The consumption of 169 food and beverage items was measured along with portion size by using a food frequency questionnaire. Questions regarding the R/A-personality scale and lifestyle habits were included in the questionnaire. The participants were 28077 adults (13082 males and 14995 females) aged 35 years and over.


Both males and females with high R/A-personality scores (i.e., high degree of rational thought and emotional repression) consumed more soy products, green and yellow vegetables, other vegetables, and seaweed than the other participants. Males with high R/A-personality scores drank fewer alcoholic beverages, and females with high scores were found to snack less on sweet and salty foods than the other participants. Males with high R/A-personality scores showed higher consumption of meat and dairy products, and females with high scores showed higher consumption of fish, shellfish, and eggs than those with low R/A-personality scores.


The R/A-personality scale may differentiate dietary habits in males and females in a Japanese community.

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