Millions of adults in the UK are ‘clueless’ about their gut health

‘The gut plays such a significant role in the body. It is vital we make it a priority.’  (
‘The gut plays such a significant role in the body. It is vital we make it a priority.’ (

Even though 82 per cent agree it’s important to look after this part of the body, the poll of 2,000 adults found nearly half (47 per cent) don’t know where to start when it comes to gut well–being.

And their knowledge of what the gut actually does is lacking too – just 60 per cent said one of the gut’s main roles is to digest food.

Of those claiming to know which parts of the body make up the “gut”, a fifth incorrectly stated the gall bladder is part of the gut, and a further 13 per cent wrongly think the liver is.

While 30 per cent had no idea both the small and large intestines are also important components of the gut.

A spokesperson for Activia yoghurts, which has launched the ‘What the Gut?’ museum, in partnership with TV’s Dr Zoe Williams, said: "As the research suggests, there is an awareness that gut health is important, but not enough clear information to support people in taking care of their gut.

“The aim of the museum will be to help people navigate gut health in a fun, accessible and educational way whilst equipping people with the information to look after it.

“There are a lot of things you can be doing to ensure you keep your gut healthy and a little bit of knowledge goes a long way.

“It’s important to have open discussions about gut health in order to raise awareness and really break the taboo.”

The study also found 16 per cent don’t prioritise gut health – with 40 per cent revealing they’d only worry about this if their GP told them to.

This is despite many of those polled suffering from symptoms which could indicate gut issues like heartburn (20 per cent), fatigue (19 per cent), bloating (18 per cent) and constipation (17 per cent).

Of those who have experienced negative gut–related symptoms, less than half (45 per cent) have tried to do something about it.

Of those who have, more than half (55 per cent) saw a medical or healthcare professional but 31 per cent simply got advice from family and friends.

Of those who haven’t sought help, 30 per cent didn’t think the symptoms were bad enough and 23 per cent didn’t think they needed medical assistance.

And this possible hesitancy to look after their guts could be down to embarrassment – 63 per cent admit they’d be uncomfortable discussing this subject with their partner.

The study carried out through OnePoll also identified what those polled consider to be the best ways to maintain a healthy gut.

These include drinking more water (46 per cent), consuming fibre (45 per cent) and eating food such as whole grains, bananas and greens (42 per cent), which are all correct to help keep your gut healthy.

A spokesperson for Activia added: “As a brand, we are passionate about good gut health for all, and we want to mobilise conversation in this area with our ‘What the Gut?’ Museum.

“The gut plays such a significant role in the body. It is vital we make it a priority.

“Make 2023 the year you look after your gut, it’s more important than you might think!”

11 gut symptoms to look out for:

  1. Diarrhoea

  2. Constipation

  3. Bloating of the abdomen

  4. Stomach cramps

  5. Gas

  6. Fatigue

  7. Bad breath

  8. Weight fluctuations

  9. Low mood

  10. Skin issues e.g. acne/dry skin

  11. Heartburn