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Where Do Americans Spend More Than a Week Each Year? Not on Vacation...

Survey Flushes Out the Secrets of Americans' Bathroom Habits

MORRISTOWN, N.J., May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether it's "powdering your nose" or settling in for a good read, Americans spend a significant amount of time in the bathroom. According to a recent Yankelovich survey, many Americans spend more than 30 minutes each day in the bathroom -- that adds up to nearly eight days each year -- which is more than double that of the average vacation trip(1). And contrary to popular belief, men spend almost as much time in the bathroom as women.

The findings were released as part of an effort to examine the bathroom habits of the American consumer and explore the reasons why this previously unrecognized "drain" on consumers' time may be an indication of larger health issues.

No More Excuses

The survey also revealed that one in four Americans at some time have made up an excuse for why they're going to the bathroom in the first place. Furthermore, men in this group were just as likely to make up an excuse as women, which contradicts the thought that men are more open to discussing what happens behind closed doors.

"Making excuses for bathroom habits could be a sign that something else is going on," Dr. Anish Sheth, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine. "Millions of Americans experience digestive problems, but few know that key to digestive health is maintaining a balance between the 'good' and 'bad' bacteria in the colon, a vital part of the digestive system. But there are things consumers can do such as taking a probiotic to address digestive symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, as well as overall colon health."

Probiotics are live microorganisms, similar to the good bacteria found inside the body. Available mainly through foods and dietary supplements, probiotics -- like Phillips' Colon Health(TM) -- can restore intestinal balance by boosting the number of those bacteria that are helpful. Studies have also shown that probiotics may stimulate the immune system and help with overall health.

Travel Woes and Economic Stress

In addition to examining bathroom habits, the survey also identified consumer travel worries and the impact of stress on eating habits, which could both have an effect on the digestive system.

As summer approaches, many Americans are beginning to plan vacations with their friends or families. And something they'd like to leave behind is digestive issues. According to the survey, close to half of all Americans at some time have had or worried about having stomach problems while on vacation. Taking a probiotic can help to eliminate that worry, as probiotics have been shown to help address travel related issues, like traveler's diarrhea(2).

In addition, the survey unveiled that a majority of Americans have experienced increased stress because of the current state of the economy. Nearly 40 percent of those Americans report they now eat more comfort food, more snacks and more fast food due to their increased stress levels.

"Stress and poor diet are triggers that could potentially cause digestive problems," said Dr. Sheth. "Probiotics can be especially helpful when the digestive system is under stress from all sorts of issues ranging from occasional diarrhea, or constipation."

Maintaining Digestive Health

A large percent of the body's immune system is found in the digestive tract, and the colon is at the heart of it. So it's easy to see how digestive or colon problems can have a significant health effect.

When taken on a daily basis, probiotics support the digestive system and help restore the balance that is so important to good health. While thinking about the digestive system may not always be top of mind with most people, keeping it healthy is important and sustaining colon health is key to maintaining overall health.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted by Yankelovich, a part of the Futures Company on behalf of Phillips' Colon Health Probiotic Supplement. Survey results were obtained through online interviews among a representative sample of 1,042 adults 18 and over. Additional findings include:

  • 10 percent of those surveyed spend 60 minutes or more in the bathroom a day
  • Women are only slightly more likely to make excuses for why they are going to the bathroom than men (26 percent for women compared to 24 percent for men)
  • Women are more stressed because of the economy than men (60 percent of women versus 51 percent of men)
  • Economic stress had a bigger impact on the eating habits of younger Americans than older Americans (61 percent of Americans aged 18-24 say the eat more comfort food, more snacks and more fast food compared to 29 percent of Americans aged 55 - 64)

About Phillips' Colon Health

Phillips' Colon Health is a once-daily probiotic supplement that replenishes good bacteria and helps restore the digestive system's natural balance. Taking one capsule daily can help promote overall digestive health and support a healthy immune system.

While most probiotic supplements contain only one strain of bacteria, Phillips' Colon Health is formulated with three strains of the most common and studied bacteria, each supporting a different area of the digestive tract. These bacteria have played a role in the body's immune since birth:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus helps the body produce vitamin K, lactase, and a variety of antimicrobial agents.

  • Bifidobacterium bifidum helps protect the body against diarrhea and other intestinal disturbances.

  • Bifidobacterium longum is the most dominant bacteria in the entire body and helps keep the digestive system running smoothly, while blocking the growth of harmful bacteria and boosting the overall immune system.

Phillips' Colon Health can be found nationwide in drug, grocery and mass retailers with other gastrointestinal products. For more information on the benefits of Phillips' Colon Health, visit

Phillips' has been a trusted name in colon health for more than 125 years. In addition to Phillips' Colon Health, the brand also offers a full line of stimulant-free, cramp-free laxatives that work more naturally with the body.

(1) U.S. Travel Association E-mail communication: "Overnight leisure personal trips last an average of 3.3 nights."

(2) McFarland, Lynne. Meta-analysis of probiotics for the prevention of traveler's diarrhea. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease. March, 2007. P: 97-105

About Bayer Consumer Care

The Consumer Care Division of Bayer HealthCare LLC, is headquartered in Morristown, N.J. Bayer's Consumer Care Division is among the largest marketers of over-the-counter medications and nutritional supplements in the world. Some of the most trusted and recognizable brands in the world today come from the Bayer portfolio of products. These include Bayer(R) Aspirin, Aleve(R), Alka-Seltzer Plus(R), Bactine(R), Citracal(R), RID(R), Phillips'(R) Milk of Magnesia, Midol(R), Alka-Seltzer(R), One A Day(R), One A Day(R) Prenatal and Flintstones(TM) vitamins.

SOURCE Bayer HealthCare
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