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Strong-willed women are more likely to eat chocolate while neurotic men may prefer quiche, according to new Australian research that shows personality plays a significant role in food choice.

A major survey of how Australians feel about themselves and food showed many eating habits were closely associated with personality types.The preliminary findings of a detailed questionnaire to 1,500 randomly selected men and women were unexpected, said researchers from the University of Adelaide and the human nutrition division of the government's science arm.

The survey included a list of questions about the link between health and food and an Eysenck personality test - a standard psychological tool for measuring emotional levels.

The researchers found that people who believe they are in control of their well-being tended to eat food high in fiber, and less fat, salt and sugar.

People who felt their future was at the mercy of fate tended to ignore dietary advice.

The study found that women with a tough-minded, aggressive or solitary attitude were found to eat more refined sugar but less salt and protein than others.

Men who scored highly on the neuroticism scale were less inclined to eat fiber but tended toward cholesterol-rich foods, such as quiche or a fatty lamb chop.