North South Divide Exists in UK Digestive Health

Thursday, May 29, 2008 General News
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LONDON, May 29 More northern women feel bloating andgurgling than their southern counterparts with up to 70% of them likely toexperience it at any one time, according to a TNS survey commissioned byDanone(1).

Women from the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside fared the worst(71%), with Greater London and the South West experiencing the least amountof bloated feelings. And 61% of British women experience feeling bloated,with 85% believing they have a healthy digestive system.

Two thirds of women haven't consulted a doctor or nurse about thesefeelings - younger women especially, aged 16 - 34, generally do not doanything about these feelings of digestive discomfort.

Today, on World Digestive Health Day, the World GastroenterologyOrganisation Foundation(2) and Danone have joined forces to call for improvededucation in digestive health in the UK.

According to Professor Eamonn Quigley, President, World GastroenterologyOrganisation, "This year, we celebrate our 50th anniversary and have chosento highlight the crucial topic of nutrition and digestive health. Digestivedisorders affect a significant percent of the population and can lead toserious conditions such as colon cancer. We believe that nutrition isintegral to digestive health - and overall health - and within nutrition,proven probiotics can play a major role in improving digestive health."

44% of British women who experience digestive discomfort say it makesthem feel uncomfortable in their clothes or skin; 23% feel bad tempered and 1in 5 feel less confident. This is a true reflection that British women couldtake better care of their digestive health, something that can be improvedwith very easy steps.

Not surprisingly, the survey's findings also showed that in the areaswhere most women reported feeling digestive discomfort, they also reportedeating more fried and fatty foods. Fried/fatty foods were consumed at leasttwo to three times a week by 25% of British women - highest in the WestMidlands (31%).

Interestingly, in the areas where women reported the lowest levels offeeling bloated, the highest consumption of probiotic yogurt was reported.Probiotic yogurt consumption was also found to be highest in UK women aged 55- 64, the age group least likely to report feeling bloated. Highest yogurtconsumption was evident in the South West, Greater London and the East ofEngland - all areas which correlate to comparatively lower bloated feelings.

Fiona Hunter, independent nutritionist, said: "Digestive health is anexcellent indicator of our overall health. Discomfort isn't just somethingwomen get from time to time and it really isn't something that should beignored. If you do experience it, first check your diet - eat lots of fruitand veg and try a probiotic yogurt that has scientifically proven benefits.Also, try to eat more slowly, make sure you drink plenty of fluids and tryand do regular exercise. If things don't improve, talk to your local practicenurse or GP."

Worryingly, the survey also showed that a fifth of British women areskipping breakfast, the most important meal for jumpstarting the day'sdigestive process. Within the 16-24 year category, this figure increases toan incredible third of young women.

Daily probiotics can play a major role in supporting digestive health.Activia contains the unique culture Bifidus Actiregularis(TM), whichincreases your good bacteria. It helps regulate support your digestive systemby improving slower digestive transit when at least one pot is eaten everydayfor two weeks as part of a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle. 82% of peoplewith self-reported digestive discomfort said they felt better or much betterafter having one pot of Activia for two weeks* and 87% reported feeling lessbloated.**

For more information, please visit http://www.activedigestivehealth.comand http://www.wgofounda

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