The objective of this study is to assess the differences in lifestyles according to levels of self-perceived competitiveness, psychological tension, and dependency in a Mediterranean cohort of university graduates.
Levels of personality traits, food consumption, nutrient intake, eating attitudes, physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, and alcohol and tobacco consumption were assessed through a questionnaire administered at baseline. This was a cross-sectional study in the context of the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra cohort. Participants are 15,346 Spanish adults.
Participants with a high level of self-perceived competitiveness consumed more vegetables and fish but less refined grains; they had higher protein intake and healthier eating attitudes. They were more physically active and less likely to be smokers. Participants with a high level of tension or dependency were less physically active, and participants more dependent also had poorer adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
Self-perceived personality traits, especially the trait of competitiveness, are likely to be associated with healthier dietary patterns, better nutrient profile, better eating attitudes, physical activity, and less exposure to smoking. The use of short questions about self-perceived levels of competitiveness, psychological tension, and dependency can contribute to add additional information when assessing lifestyles and diet in adults.