The present study aims to explore the relationship between conscientiousness and the consumption of healthy versus unhealthy main meals. Impulsive eating was tested as a mediator in this relationship, as well as direct effects of age on those constructs. A nationwide representative sample of 1006 Norwegian adults (18–70 years) within a prospective design was used to test a theoretical model. The structural equation model (SEM), in combination with bootstrapping procedures in AMOS, was the principal analytical method. Conscientiousness was negatively associated with unhealthy and impulsive eating. Impulsive eating was a partial mediator between conscientiousness and unhealthy eating and a full mediator between conscientiousness and healthy eating. Age was positively correlated with conscientiousness and this relationship had an inverted U-shape form. Finally, age was negatively associated with unhealthy and impulsive eating, and positively associated with healthy eating. This study confirmed the relevance of conscientiousness for healthy, unhealthy, and impulsive eating.
- conscientiousness, healthy and unhealthy eating behaviour, impulsive eating, age, structural equation model, SEM