Survey Confirms That People Are Gassy

81% of respondents said they experienced flatulence in the previous 24 hours
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2021 1:01 PM CDT
Survey Confirms Pretty Much Everybody Farts
Gastrointestinal distress!!   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – If you regularly find yourself gassy, you're in good company, or so indicates a new survey. Using an online health survey, scientists from the Rome Foundation Research Institute in the US and France's Danone Nutricia Research polled nearly 6,000 adults in the US, UK, and Mexico about whether they had experienced any of seven gas-related symptoms in the previous 24 hours. The answer was a pretty resounding yes: 89% reported experiencing at least one, the most common of which was flatulence, with 81% saying they had passed gas recently.

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Per a press release, 60% had experienced a rumbling stomach, 58% had burped, 48% had bad breath, 40% had suffered abdominal distension/swollen tummy, and 38% had experienced bloating. The findings, which Gizmodo reports have yet to be peer-reviewed, were presented Saturday at the United European Gastroenterology conference. The researchers also collected information on respondents' body mass index and exercise, emotional wellbeing, and quality of life over the past week. They found those whose Intestinal Gas Questionnaire scores were higher reported lower mental health and quality of life scores; there was no correlation with BMI.

The study suggests our gas issues improve with age (or perhaps we notice them less): People ages 18 to 34 had an average IGQ score of 24; 35 to 49 scored 22.6; 50 to 64 scored 12.7; and over 65 scored 8.6. Residents of Mexico reported the highest scores, followed by the US then the UK. Lead author Olafur Palsson's takeaway: "The most remarkable and surprising finding in our study is that almost all adults in the general population experience some daily gas-related symptoms. This is important given the data also clearly reveals that these symptoms affect people’s general wellbeing." (Read more gastrointestinal stories.)

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