TUMMY TURMOIL GIVING UK ECONOMY A £1.2 BILLION STOMACH ACHE
• UK businesses forced to swallow the huge cost of poor digestive health among female staff • Women caught in vicious cycle of stress and digestive problems • Eight out of ten women not getting enough fibre
09 Sep, 2014
New research today has uncovered a hidden threat to the national economy, with digestive health costing British businesses a stomach-churning £1.2 billion every year.
According to a national study, a third of women admitted embarrassing tummy turmoil had forced them to take at least one day off work in the last year- resulting in millions of pounds being lost every day with businesses forced to stomach the expense of any time away from the work place.
What’s more, it revealed half of women in the UK (52 percent) are experiencing regular tummy niggles at least once a week, with the most common complaints including bloating (68 percent), trapped wind (63 percent) and constipation (59 percent).
The research by All-Bran also found that a quarter of women skip breakfast at least twice a week, which can contribute to symptoms of poor digestive health. This compounds a growing problem for women, with eight out of ten eating less fibre than is recommended.
Work-related stress was cited as a main cause of digestive discomfort among working women with half (50 percent) saying their symptoms were aggravated during difficult phases at work.
34 percent of women also claimed that their absence from work because of digestive problems has had a negative effect on their relationship with their boss, with the same amount admitting to avoiding the work toilet for fear of being shown up by their stomach.
Commenting on the findings, Dr David Lewis said: “There is a clear relationship between stress and digestive problems and women are being caught up in a vicious cycle, because if you are suffering from one of these problems, it is likely to lead into the other.
“It also means when women experience discomfort through poor digestion, their concentration is diminished and they are much less efficient at work compared to when they are feeling healthy and well.
“We know that 8 out of 10 women are not getting enough fibre in their diet, so one of the simplest ways to fix these problems is to improve digestive health by eating more natural wheat-bran fibre.”
This is reflected in the survey findings as two thirds (66 percent) of working women also said that the problems make them feel unproductive and unable to perform at their best at work – more bad news for their employer’s bottom line.
However, it is not just businesses counting the cost of poor digestive health, with 42 percent of women who have taken time off for digestion trouble concerned that it has harmed their prospects of a promotion, pay rise or bonus.
Outside work, the impact can be just as hard to digest. One in three (31 percent ) women saying they have missed out on social events or family occasions due to the state of their stomach whilst nearly half (48 percent) said tummy niggles make them feel self-conscious about showing off their body on holiday.
Ruth Gresty from All-Bran, said: “It is quite shocking that women see stomach complaints as a normal part of everyday life but for the majority it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be as simple as making a few small steps like eating a wheat bran fibre rich breakfast cereal every morning like All-Bran which is proven to help with digestive discomfort- and will hopefully put an end to all those embarrassing tummy traumas.
“That’s why we are launching our “SOS: Save Our Stomachs” campaign to encourage people to up their daily intake of fibre, which is scientifically proven to improve digestive health.
“As part of the campaign we are encouraging people to take up the All-Bran 5 Day Challenge and asking ladies of all ages to have a bowl of All-Bran for breakfast for five consecutive days, to see if they notice the difference. We are confident it will help them to feel revitalized inside and out.”
These results are reflected in a recent study which saw 115 healthy women take on the All-Bran 5 Day Challeng. For those women who took the 5 Day Challenge, 73 percent experienced improvements in their digestive comfort, with 62 percent feeling the difference by day three of the five day challenge. Furthermore, 72 percent of the women reported a positive change in their general well-being, including feeling healthier and more energetic than usual.
This month, All-Bran also announced an exciting new partnership with the World Gastroenterology Organisation, which will see the world’s foremost experts on digestive health join forces with All-Bran to educate consumers.
For more details on the 5 Day Challenge and All-Bran’s range of high-fibre breakfast products, visit www.allbran.co.uk.