A new survey has revealed a majority of Americans are dreading what their favorite holiday foods and drinks will do to their gut.
The poll of 2,000 US adults found 72% of people look forward to the food around the holiday season, but 65% admit this is the worst time of year for their diet.
During the holiday season, 75% find themselves eating more often throughout the day and 76% find their eating habits also changing more often throughout the day than any other time of year.
Over half (51%) said they “often” or “always” feel like they ate too much food during the holidays. As a result, many are left with occasional constipation (56%), indigestion (49%) and acid reflux (45%).
Almost as many (48%) said the changes to their routines and eating habits during the holidays affect their experiences with occasional constipation.
The study, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by naturally-based laxative brand Prunelax, revealed 93% experience occasional constipation — 43% experience it “often” or “all the time.”
Seventy percent of respondents said it happens more frequently during the holiday season and 69% said it also happens more while traveling for the holidays.
Turkey (44%), pecan pie (41%) and potatoes (39%) were found to be the biggest culprits to blame for people’s occasional constipation. It was also caused by favorite holiday beverages, like chocolate milk (45%), non-alcoholic eggnog (38%) and hot cocoa (38%).
“Of course, any change to our habits can have an impact on how our bodies react and digest our foods,” says Dr, Marjorie Marin, medical director at Prunelax. “But in the midst of the holiday buzz, it’s all too easy to ignore what we’re putting our bodies through, between holiday travel, changes in our dietary habits, and a shift in how and what we consume that differs from our everyday diet.
“On these occasions, it’s always better to turn to natural-based solutions that you can take with you on the go.”
The survey also found two-thirds (67%) of Americans are concerned about holiday meals causing them digestive discomfort. Seven in 10 said they spend more time in the bathroom during the holiday season than any other time of year, thanks to the discomfort they experience.
To help avoid it, 51% will frequently take some sort of aid before eating: drinking more water (53%), taking acid reflux medication (47%) or eating more fiber (45%). A quarter (27%) will also try naturally-based laxatives.
“Above all else, the best thing you can do for your body is listen to it,” continued Dr. Marin. “Not paying attention to how your body is processing holiday meals can leave you feeling uncomfortable. Listen to your body and take the necessary measures to prevent digestive discomfort before it happens.”
TOP 10 FOODS THAT CAN CAUSE OCCASIONAL CONSTIPATION
- Turkey – 44%
- Pecan pie – 41%
- Potatoes – 39%
- Chocolate – 33%
- Pumpkin pie – 31%
- Fudge – 23%
- Sugary candies – 18%
- Stuffing – 13%
- Ham – 9%
- Rack of lamb – 8%
TOP 10 BEVERAGES THAT CAN CAUSE OCCASIONAL CONSTIPATION
- Chocolate milk – 45%
- Non-alcoholic eggnog – 38%
- Hot cocoa/hot chocolate – 38%
- Espresso martinis – 32%
- Alcoholic eggnog – 30%
- Peppermint martinis – 26%
- Mochas – 13%
- Peppermint mochas – 12%
- Gingerbread lattes – 9%
- Brown ales – 7%
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Prunelax between October 30 and October 31, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).
Produced in association with SWNS Research