56% of Indian families report Digestive Health issues, reveals survey

By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

New Delhi, May 29 : ‘A Survey on Digestive Health’ of Indian families’, ahead of World Digestive Health Day today, May 29, 2021 commissioned by ITC’s Aashirvaad Atta with Multigrains, on Momspresso, one of India’s leading platform for mums, revealed that 56 per cent of Indian families have reported Digestive Health issues.

The study was conducted amongst 538 mothers, aged 25-45 years across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai. This sample constituted working mothers, including businesswomen, entrepreneurs, those employed, and home-makers alike.

The value-added atta variant’s survey results revealed consumers’ lifestyle and eating habits. The findings suggest that 77 per cent of Indian mothers consider digestive health to be extremely important, while 56 per cent mothers think their families suffer from digestive health issues. The study found that more than 50 per cent Indian families report suffering from 2-3 digestive health issues. Gas, acidity, and indigestion were found to be amongst the top 3 issues as more than 50 per cent respondents reported suffering from atleast one of these three.

More than 50 per cent think that digestive health has an impact on weight management, energy levels, and the experience leads to abnormal bowel movement amongst others. Forty per cent consider their family and their own gut health as ‘Poor’ while husband followed by in-laws/parents and self as most affected, respectively. Factors that contribute to gut health include lifestyle and dietary choices. Irregular sleep cycle, consumption of spicy, oily, or fried food, low water intake and 1.5 times/week being the average frequency of physical exercise amongst others were reported as common lifestyle patterns. More than 70 per cent highlighted that they resorted to home remedies and improving daily eating habits as a measure to tackle digestive health issues.

Enriching one’s diet with fibre rich food such as wheat-based products, cereals, fruits, leafy vegetables, etc. can aid digestion and it can also relieve bowel issues, provide energy and promote a sense of satiety, thereby enabling weight management.

Speaking about this initiative, Ganesh Kumar Sundararaman, SBU Chief Executive — Staples, Snacks and Meals, Foods Division, ITC Ltd.said, “Digestive health issues can impact one’s quality of life. But they can be managed by introducing changes in eating habits. The World Digestive Health Day is an appropriate occasion to create awareness about the importance of digestive health. Our endeavour has been to support consumers with products such as Aashirvaad Atta with Multigrains that has a wholesome mix of six different grains — wheat, soya, channa, oat, maize, and psyllium husk which makes it a source of high fibre. Including Consuming this atta as part of the daily diet could be one of the convenient ways add to one’s daily fibre intake. Inclusion of other foods that are high in fibre, along with an active regimen, can support a healthy lifestyle.”