Figuring sitting on toilet paper roll

(© nito -

Half of Americans admit to overeating during the holiday season, while two-thirds dread what festive feasts will do to their gut health!

NEW YORK — Two in three Americans are dreading Thanksgiving “stuffing.” No, not that kind of stuffing — but the variety that comes from overeating — wrecking their diet and gut health.

The poll of 2,000 adults finds that 72 percent of people look forward to the food around the holiday season, but 65 percent admit this is the worst time of year for their diet. During the holiday season, three in four find themselves eating more often throughout the day, and 76 percent find their eating habits also changing more often throughout the day than at any other time of year.

Over half (51%) say 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%) say the changes to their routines and eating habits during the holidays affect their experiences with constipation.

The study, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by naturally-based laxative brand Prunelax, reveals 93 percent experience occasional constipation — 43 percent experience it “often” or “all the time.” 

holiday food pie overeating
Turkey, pecan pie, and potatoes were found to be the biggest culprits for people’s occasional constipation, according to the survey. (Credit: Zera Li on Unsplash)

Seven in 10 people say it happens more frequently during the holiday season, and 69 percent say it also happens more while traveling for the holidays.

Turkey (44%), pecan pie (41%), and potatoes (39%) are the biggest culprits 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 spokesperson Dr. Marjorie Marin, medical director at Prunelax, in a statement. “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.”

The survey also finds two-thirds (67%) of Americans are concerned about holiday meals causing them digestive discomfort. Seven in 10 say they spend more time in the bathroom during the holiday season than any other time of year, thanks to the discomfort they experience.

Thanksgiving holiday overeating person holding their stomach
More than half of Americans admit to overeating during the holidays — which can certainly make constipation even more painful and bothersome. (© ActionGP –

To help avoid it, 51 percent will frequently consume some sort of digestive aid before eating: drinking more water (53%), taking acid reflux medication (47%), or eating more fiber (45%). Over 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,” continues 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.”

Survey methodology:

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).

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  1. Tym says:

    Some might benefit from enzyme supplements and not know it. That was my case. My pancreas had failed. Even after that the doctors never told me what to do, amazing, Dr. Google has been my best friend in medicine, not “my” doctors…

  2. George says:

    It is not a wonder people in the USA have so many digestive problems when you look at the huge and varied amounts of preservatives used in foods. There are 15 million colonoscopies performed each year.

  3. dave murrel says:

    Take a magnesium supplement