Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Personality disorders and body weight

  • Author(s): Maclean, JC
  • Xu, H
  • French, MT
  • Ettner, SL
  • et al.
Abstract

We examine the impact of Axis II personality disorders (PDs) on body weight. PDs are psychiatric conditions that develop early in life from a mixture of genetics and environment, are persistent, and lead to substantial dysfunction for the affected individual. The defining characteristics of PDs conceptually link them with body weight, but the direction of the relationship likely varies across PD type. To investigate these links, we analyze data from Wave II of the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions. We measure body weight with the body mass index (BMI) and a dichotomous indicator for obesity (BMI ≥ 30). We find that women with PDs have significantly higher BMI and are more likely to be obese than otherwise similar women. We find few statistically significant or economically meaningful effects for men. Paranoid, schizotypal, and avoidant PDs demonstrate the strongest adverse impacts on women's body weight while dependent PD may be protective against elevated body weight among men. Findings from unconditional quantile regressions demonstrate a positive gradient between PDs and BMI in that the effects are greater for higher BMI respondents. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View