Figuring sitting on toilet paper roll

(© nito - stock.adobe.com)

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 – stock.adobe.com)

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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28 Comments

  1. Gerry Michaud says:

    Maybe this is why people are so angry all of the time.

  2. Travis says:

    If you eat a handful of shelled walnuts every day, you will never be constipated. Your welcome.

    1. E. Liston says:

      “You’re” not “your”. You are welcome.

    2. Richard Wendt says:

      That is interesting. It evidently works for you. But why do you believe it will work for everyone?

  3. Jerry Mustard says:

    43 percent. Isn’t that the same percentage who support Trump consistently? Maybe now I can understand it.

  4. Ash Kenazi says:

    The reason for so much constipation is magnesium deficiency.
    Use 400-800mg of Magnesium citrate daily in 3 divided doses, about 250mg each dose.
    Magnesium is 2nd or 3rd most common nutrient deficiency. You’ll be pooping like a baby.
    The mineral is no longer is farm soil. USDA was complaining about this to Congress 100 years ago.
    Taking a multi vitamin? Thats vitamins, it has very little mineral in that pill.
    You need multi mineral, too, daily. Watch your health problems slowly vanish.
    Take a large dose of probiotics daily and you’ll have explosive energy, like an 8 year old child.

  5. H says:

    Same % identify as democrats. All full of $hit.

  6. sunnyvaleken says:

    Now I see why Biden is so popular; his supporters are full of schiff.

  7. Frond says:

    Here’s a thought, how about controlling yourself?

  8. Wizbang says:

    9% of Americans eat processed crap every day. Look around you. The obesity rate is astounding. Don’t fret, the pharmaceutical companies are devising a pill to fix all of your problems. If people were actually interested in a healthy lifestyle most of the fast food places and processed bagged meals in the grocery would be gone in a year or two.

  9. William Donald Rice says:

    If we would stop eating garbage fast food and more vegetables and fruit we wouldn’t have this issue.

    1. BRUCE HALL says:

      If we would stop eating garbage fast food and more ruminant animal meat and fat we wouldn’t have this issue.

      Fixed it for you.

  10. MHart says:

    Eat garbage food, and you will have digestive problems. It’s not rocket surgery.

    1. jjazznola says:

      We are talking about holiday foods like turkey, potatoes, stuffing, pies…..It’s the change from regular diets that cause the issues.

  11. Samuel says:

    I don’t do my job as well, when I am constipated…….

  12. Dr.Jeff says:

    In many cases it is due to medications.

    1. Vendicar Decarian says:

      Prescribe metformin.

  13. Steven Lind says:

    So, 43% of Americans are full of ship. That explains a lot.

  14. Neil says:

    try Magnesium 500 mg dietary supplement, a generic stool softener

  15. MayQuinn says:

    Some free advice: my mom tried everything. Fiber supplements, Pepto Bismal, Miralax, Senokot, Dulcolax, Docusate, etc. I had her try drinking a tablespoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) per day, and she hasn’t had constipation in months.

  16. jjazznola says:

    Take some psyllium husk caps and drink lots of water and you’ll be fine.

  17. stressed says:

    well that explains alot. drink water, eat veggies and fruit. you’ll poop with the glee of a 1 year old!

  18. Patricia A. Gallagher says:

    I’ve had alternating constipation and diarrhea all my adult life, sometimes not “going” for four or five days at a time.. A gastroenterologist finally confirmed a type of irritable bowel disease. No prescription meds worked. Within the last 6 months, I began taking an OTC probiotic capsule once or twice a day. VOILA! — I now have a BM every day. Sometimes it’s very soft, somewhat gassy, but never constipated. I began a one-meal-a-day dietary regimen (dinner) about 3 months ago. I have a cup or two of coffee with heavy cream around 11:00 a.m., and sometimes an apple or some almonds during the day. My dinners are low-carb and small helpings of protein. It’s working, folks! Try it!

  19. Patricia A. Gallagher says:

    I’m 70 years old I’ve had alternating constipation and diarrhea all my adult life, sometimes not “going” for four or five days at a time.. A gastroenterologist finally confirmed a type of irritable bowel disease. No prescription meds worked. Within the last 6 months, I began taking an OTC probiotic capsule once or twice a day. VOILA! — I now have a BM every day. Sometimes it’s very soft, somewhat gassy, but never constipated.

    I began a one-meal-a-day dietary regimen (dinner) about 3 months ago. I have a cup or two of coffee with heavy cream around 11:00 a.m., and sometimes an apple or some low-sodium almonds during the day. I also drink at least a half gallon of plain water every day; no soda or other beverages. My dinners are low-carb and small helpings of protein. It’s working, folks! Try it!

  20. Patricia A. Gallagher says:

    Oh, and I still eat ice cream for dessert on Saturday evening!