Current Obesity Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 27–36 | Cite as

Are Personality Characteristics as Measured by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) Associated with Obesity Treatment Outcomes? A Systematic Review

  • Riccardo Dalle GraveEmail author
  • Simona Calugi
  • Marwan El Ghoch
Psychological Issues (V Drapeau and S Sogg, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychological Issues


Purpose of Review

Some personality traits seem to be associated with obesity, but there is little information available regarding their association with obesity treatment outcomes. The aim of this systematic review was therefore to assess the associations between personality traits—evaluated by means of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI)—and outcomes of obesity treatment, including attrition, weight loss, and weight loss maintenance. The PubMed database was searched, and studies were screened as per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, and data were collated using a narrative approach.

Recent Findings

Of the 886 articles retrieved, 9 studies assessing personality traits by means of the TCI in participants with obesity met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. This approach revealed three main findings: (i) only one study found that attrition rate—during a 6-month behavioral weight loss program—is predicted by low reward dependence scores at baseline; (ii) two studies found that lower novelty-seeking and higher self-directedness scores at baseline positively predict short-term weight-loss magnitude; and (iii) four studies found that higher persistence and lower novelty-seeking scores at baseline predicted weight maintenance at 12 and 24 months.


Novelty-seeking and self-directedness traits appear to be predictors of short-term weight loss (≤ 6 months), and persistence and novelty-seeking traits may be related to long-term weight loss maintenance (≥ 12 months), although great uncertainty still exists regarding predictors of attrition.


Obesity Overweight Weight loss Weight maintenance Personality traits 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Riccardo Dalle Grave, Simona Calugi, and Marwan El Ghoch declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Dalle Grave
    • 1
    Email author
  • Simona Calugi
    • 1
  • Marwan El Ghoch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Eating and Weight DisordersVilla Garda HospitalGardaItaly

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