Sam Faiers is supporting #LoveYourGut

Sam Faiers is supporting #LoveYourGut

Love Your Gut, a campaign that emphasises the importance of maintaining good gut health, has released the results of a UK survey which reveals a social taboo around toilet habits and a huge gap in knowledge when it comes to digestive health.

The Love Your Gut campaign is co-ordinated by Yakult UK Limited in association with leading digestive health charities the IBS Network and Core.


Research from Love Your Gut unveils a ‘toilet trauma’ across the UK, with 91% of people surveyed admitting to at least one concern about having a bowel movement in a public space. The most popular fear is causing a smell: based on our survey over 40 million Brits worry about this.

The survey also found that around three quarters of Brits would not always be happy to use the toilet whilst shopping, at the pub or at a friend’s house and over half of Brits in a relationship would wait at least six months before talking about poo or pooing at their partner’s house.

Dr Nick Read, physician, psychotherapist and Medical Adviser to the IBS Network says: “We should never ignore the urge to go to the toilet; regular bowel movements are completely normal and are important to maintaining good gut health.”


As well as maintaining a healthy gut, Love Your Gut aims to raise awareness of possible symptoms of disease. Results show that almost a third of Brits wouldn’t recognise obvious signs such as change in bowel habits that might indicate bowel cancer. In fact, two thirds of those surveyed admitted to regularly flushing the toilet without looking at their stools.

Dr Tom Smith, Chief Executive at Core says: “Bowel movements are an essential part of everyone’s health and we should all keep an eye on the frequency of bowel movement, colour of stools, shape and consistency. It’s important to be consciously aware of changes in our routines, this helps us to identify any abnormal patterns and acknowledge symptoms much more easily.”

The research also revealed a worrying lack of knowledge among participants’ own bodies. More than one third of Brits couldn’t locate their stomach on a diagram of the digestive system and only 36 per cent were able to pinpoint the small intestine. On a whole, men were the least gut savvy with just over one third labelling the gut correctly compared to over half of women.


A worrying amount of participants were also not aware that their lifestyle choices can increase their chance of developing gut diseases including bowel cancer. Based on the survey, almost two thirds of people in the UK wouldn’t realise alcohol can be a risk factor, while 72 per cent don’t realise that smoking can be a factor and over half don’t realise inactivity or being overweight can also be a risk factor. 

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