A 'can do' attitude is essential if families are going to lead a healthy lifestyle.
This is according to the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, which looked at the data of over 7,000 people.
Information on diet, exercise and personality was analysed and the organisation found that adults who believe their life can be changed by their own actions ate healthier food, smoked and drank less and exercised more.
Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark, director of the institute, said there is a "direct link between the type of personality a person has and a healthy lifestyle", whereas those who trust to luck or fate are more likely to lead an unhealthy life.
This means that parents who adopt the right attitude are more likely to encourage their children to enjoy a good lifestyle.
"Understanding the psychological underpinning of a person's eating patterns and exercise habits is central to understanding obesity," Professor Cobb-Clark stated.
The investigation also discovered that men want physical results from healthy choices, while women are happy with the everyday enjoyment this way of life brings.