News Releases

The poo taboo: Aussie women suffer digestive discomfort in silence

Sep 15, 2014

New research released today showed that each week, almost half of all women in Australia (45 percent) suffer from digestive bloating. What’s more alarming is that one in four Aussie women (28 percent) experience this on a daily basis or as frequently as several times a week.

The research – commissioned by Kellogg’s All-Bran and The Gut Foundation – showed that although almost 80 percent of women across the nation admitted to not knowing how to eliminate bloating, the majority of them (76 percent) have never sought advice from a health professional to discuss their bloating woes.

Professor Terry Bolin, President of The Gut Foundation, says women do not need to put up with digestive discomfort.
"I see people with this problem all the time. A lot of women tell me that by the end of the day, they can’t do up their jeans because they were bloated. But the research reveals that a quarter of them will just grin and bear it,” he said.

“At any point in time, the small intestine can be carrying up to three litres of gas, the equivalent of two party balloons. The pain, swelling and discomfort from trapped gas is usually the result of irregularity or constipation. A simple solution would be to gradually increase one’s fibre intake – women don’t need to suffer in silence.”

To beat the bloat, women revealed that they try to drink more water (55 percent) as well as eat more fruit and vegetables (32 percent). Meanwhile, some women try eating less gluten or wheat-based foods (16 percent) or even taking laxatives (13 percent) to get things moving as they should.

Nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume warns that while some of these steps towards self-diagnosis may be on the right track towards improving regularity and reducing bloating or digestive discomfort, other measures such as cutting out wheat or gluten from their diet without medical advice will do little towards improving digestive health.

“In many cases, without professional advice, a gluten-free or low carb diet can be deficient in fibre, leaving women more uncomfortable than before,” she said.

“In the lead up to summer, when women are most worried about bloating, a quick and easy way to get the fibre they need is to start the day off with a high-fibre breakfast. The insoluble fibre found in products like All-Bran cereals and mueslis is particularly effective at helping restore regularity and relieving the experience of digestive discomfort.”

Missing out on work and social commitments are some of the other concerns that Aussie women expressed. Almost 40 percent of women surveyed said digestive bloating affected their social life from time to time, while one in four (27 percent) said the same when it comes to their work life.

The research also showed that around one in five women (19 percent) have taken sick leave due to digestive issues such as constipation, discomfort or bloating. On average, Australians take nearly nine sick leave days a year1.

For those looking to kick start their journey towards digestive health, they can sign up online for the All-Bran 7 Day Challenge. With daily tips, recipes and useful online tools, participants can see if they feel All-Bran new in seven days.

There are a range of All-Bran products to suit every taste, including All-Bran High Fibre Muesli, All-Bran Original cereal, All-Bran Wheat Flakes Original cereal, and All-Bran Honey Almond Wheat Flakes cereal.

All-Bran products are available from Coles, Woolworths and leading independent supermarkets nationwide.

Visit or join the conversation on Twitter: @Kelloggs_AU / #7DayChallenge.

For media enquiries, more information or image requests, please contact Liquid Ideas:

Stacey McMaster | | 02 9667 4211 | 0416 232 141

Karina Darling | | 02 9667 4211 | 0422 808 465

Notes to editors:

  • This study was conducted by Galaxy Research on an online permission-based panel between Monday 18 August and Wednesday 20 August 2014
  • The report is based upon 1,260 Australian women who experienced bloating as a result of digestive processes at least monthly
  • A representative sample of 1,815 Australian women aged 18-64 years were drawn in proportion to age and location across Australia and surveyed to determine eligibility for the study

1 Medibank Private Limited. The health of Australia’s workforce, 2005