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Millions of adults are ‘clueless’ about gut health: poll

Nearly half of respondents don’t know where to start when it comes to gut well-being.

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Millions of adults are "clueless" about gut health and are not aware of how much your gut health can affect sleep, mood, and energy levels, according to a new poll. (Photo via SWNS)

By Francesca Tuckey, 72Point via SWNS

Millions of adults are "clueless" about gut health and are unaware of how your gut health can affect sleep, mood, and energy levels.

A poll of 2,000 adults found nearly half (47 percent) don’t know where to start when it comes to gut well-being, even though 82 percent agree it’s important to look after this part of the body.

And their knowledge of what the gut does is lacking too - just 60 percent said one of the gut’s main roles is to digest food.

Of those claiming to know which parts of the body make up the ‘gut’, a fifth incorrectly stated the gall bladder is part of the gut, and a further 13 percent incorrectly think the same of the liver.

While 30 percent had no idea both the small and large intestines are also important components of the gut.

A spokesperson for Activia yogurts, which has launched the ‘What the Gut?’ museum, in partnership with TV’s Dr. Zoe Williams, said: "As the research suggests, there is an awareness that gut health is important, but not enough clear information to support people in taking care of their gut.

“The aim of the museum will be to help people navigate gut health in a fun, accessible and educational way whilst equipping people with the information to look after it.

“There are a lot of things you can be doing to ensure you keep your gut healthy, and a little bit of knowledge goes a long way.

“It’s important to have open discussions about gut health to raise awareness and really break the taboo.”

The study also found 16 percent don't prioritize gut health - with 40 percent revealing they’d only worry about this if their GP told them to.

This is despite many of those polled suffering from symptoms that could indicate gut issues like heartburn (20 percent), fatigue (19 percent), bloating (18 percent) and constipation (17 percent).

Of those who have experienced negative gut-related symptoms, less than half (45 percent) have tried to do something about it.

Of those who have, more than half (55 percent) saw a medical or healthcare professional but 31 percent simply got advice from family and friends.

Of those who haven’t sought help, 30 percent didn’t think the symptoms were bad enough and 23 percent didn’t think they needed medical assistance.

And this possible hesitancy to look after their guts could be down to embarrassment - 63 percent admit they’d be uncomfortable discussing this subject with their partner.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also identified what those polled consider to be the best ways to maintain a healthy gut.

These include drinking more water (46 percent), consuming fiber (45 percent) and eating food such as whole grains, bananas and greens (42 percent), which are all correct to help keep your gut healthy.

A spokesperson for Activia added: “As a brand, we are passionate about good gut health for all, and we want to mobilize conversation in this area with our ‘What the Gut?’ Museum.

“The gut plays such a significant role in the body. It is vital we make it a priority.

“Make 2023 the year you look after your gut, it’s more important than you might think!”


  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Stomach cramps
  • Gas
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Low mood
  • Skin issues, e.g., acne/dry skin
  • Heartburn

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