Neuroticism mediates the relationship between industrial history and modern‐day regional obesity levels

Daly, Michael, Obschonka, Martin, Stuetzer, Michael, Sutin, Angelina R, Shaw‐Taylor, Leigh, Satchell, Max and Robinson, Eric ORCID: 0000-0003-3586-5533
(2021) Neuroticism mediates the relationship between industrial history and modern‐day regional obesity levels. Journal of Personality, 89 (2). pp. 276-287.

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<h4>Objective</h4>The historical factors and contemporary mechanisms underlying geographical inequalities in obesity levels remain uncertain. In this study, we examine whether modern regional variation in obesity is partly a result of the impact of large-scale industry on the personality traits of those living in regions once at the center of the Industrial Revolution.<h4>Method</h4>Exposure to the effects of the Industrial Revolution was assessed using unique historical data from English/Welsh counties (N = 111). Specifically, we examined the relationship between the regional employment share in large-scale coal-based industries in 1813-1820 and contemporary regional obesity levels (2013-2015). The Big Five personality traits and regional unemployment levels were examined as potential mediators of this association.<h4>Results</h4>The historical regional employment share in large-scale industries positively predicted the modern-day regional prevalence of obesity. Mediation analysis showed that areas exposed to the decline of large-scale industries experienced elevated Neuroticism and unemployment levels that explained almost half of the association between the historical dominance of large-scale industry and modern-day obesity levels.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results provide initial evidence that raised regional Neuroticism levels may play a key role in explaining why exposure to the rapid growth and subsequent decline of large-scale industries forecasts modern-day obesity levels.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Obesity, Employment, Unemployment, Neuroticism
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2020 08:58
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:30
DOI: 10.1111/jopy.12581
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