In a first for Australia, our Diet Types survey is designed to identify personality and behavioural traits that can make or break a diet.

Ignoring behavioural and emotional aspects that influence a person’s eating can affect their ability to lose weight.

Ignoring behavioural and emotional aspects that influence a person’s eating can affect their ability to lose weight.

Ignoring behavioural and emotional aspects that influence a person’s eating could affect their ability to lose weight.

Are you a thinker or a craver? Maybe you’re more of a freewheeler, or you might consider yourself a bit of a foodie? A new year often brings on the urge to eat better and lose weight, and while we start off with best intentions, our personalities might be holding us back from successfully changing our eating habits.

“Your personality can play a vital role in your ability to persist with a healthy eating plan,” our Behavioural Scientist Dr Sinead Golley said.

And yet most diets focus on nutrition and exercise information, ignoring behavioural and emotional aspects that influence a person’s eating.

This means many Australians are unintentionally dieting ‘blind’ – they’re choosing the wrong dieting approach for their personality and lifestyle.

Given many Australians have unhealthy eating habits, our team of behavioural scientists collected data on personality traits and characteristics derived from psychological literature, with a focus on those that may be critical for maintaining a diet. After analysing responses from 1,500 people, five clear diet types emerged that related to different eating behaviours:

  • The Thinker – Overthinking leads to stress and mood swings which often derail your diet
  • The Craver – Your heightened experience of cravings can lead to overeating in a variety of ‘tricky’ situations
  • The Foodie – Food is on your mind 24/7 – you love making, eating and buying it
  • The Socialiser – Flexibility is essential – you won’t let a diet stifle your social life
  • The Freewheeler – Reactive and impulsive, you struggle to say no to food.

By understanding these triggers, you can identify the strategies that will work for you – giving you a much better chance at sticking to those New Year’s resolutions!

“Many people start the New Year with a resolution to eat better and lose weight. But when it comes to weight loss, finding a program that fits your lifestyle can be a challenge,” said Professor Manny Noakes, our Research Director and co-author of the Total Wellbeing Diet.

So are you a foodie or a freewheeler? Find out with the free ‘diet type’ survey.


  1. Like others I am possibly 3 types therefore no wiser

  2. Has this any basis in scientific evidence? This is the sort of article usually in a woman’s magazine.

  3. Interesting I could have been one of three types. Felt disappointed that tips were not available without having to pay for it. I’m a pensioner unable to afford your costs.

  4. What a waste of money your research was. Manny herself said on TV today ‘We are all probably a mix of all types’ so why do this research? I really don’t think this will impact or assist real people in any way.

    1. Hi Jenny,

      Diet Types was developed to assist people who need to lose weight to enhance their chances of longer term success (which is a significant challenge) by helping people better understand psychological and behavioural factors that may become hurdles for their weight management journey.

      The underpinning theory is that predispositions such as our personality can determine how we make changes to our eating patterns and how well we can persist with them. Many personality assessments explore the combination and strengths of a few key characteristics that we all share. There is good evidence that understanding each of the diet types could help people address challenges. Some of these may be more salient for certain people, whereas other people may have a mix of each. This is why you see a profile. If you are dominant in one of the areas, than you can focus on one area. If you have a few strong areas, you may get a variety of tips. Either way, it is about your combination and how you can work with how you are. For example, the Thinker may often seek perfection in following a dietary pattern and may be stressed and feel negative when they are not able to do this. Diet Types provides strategies to deal with those negative thought processes to achieve a better outcome.


      CSIRO Social Media

Commenting on this post has been disabled.