The third Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Summit brought together in Istanbul world-renowned scientists in their field. The theme of this year's summit was “Past, present and future of nutrition: Cultural transformation in nutritional habits for a healthier society.”


The summit again highlighted via scientific data how effective interventions can change negative nutritional habits and encourage healthy behaviours. Key stakeholders came together in a constructive dialogue to provide policy planners, decision leaders and researchers with an overview of the best practices in this vital area of public health.

The Third Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Summit opened with remarks by Ali Ülker, Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation Member of Board of Trustees, Mr. Ülker highlighted the leadership role that the Sabri Ülker Foundation has played in highlighting to the Turkish public global advancements in the area of food, nutrition and health. As an example, the foundation has provided a spotlight on the question of “Hidden Hunger,” which even now causes the death of almost18 million children globally each year.

The foundation’s Balanced Nutrition program reached one million students, teachers and parents in 10 cities…

The summit continued with a speech by Begüm Mutuş, Secretary General of Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation. Mutuş noted that the “Balanced Nutrition” Project, carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Education’s General Directorate of Fundamental Education and aimed at teaching children healthy eating habits, had achieved excellent results.

The programme aspires to contribute to the establishment of balanced eating habits in children such that they live a high-quality and long life both physiologically and psychologically. Mutuş noted in her address that the “Balanced Nutrition” educational project has so far reached 1 million children, their parents and their educators.

The past, present and future of nutrition was examined by world-renowned scientists...

In his speech, Professor Walter Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and Director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University and one of the top five most cited scientists worldwide in the field of nutrition, pointed out the link between an inadequate and unbalanced diet and health problems. Professor Willett, who is known for his extraordinary research, stated that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fatty seeds and fish that did not include too much red meat was ideal and most beneficial to long term health. He also noted the importance of a supportive environment and educational programmes for young children to help them acquire healthy eating habits and to put the cultural transformation in nutrition into practice. He emphasized that all stakeholders had to work together.

Professor Gökhan Hotamışlıgil, M.D.,Professor of Genetics and Metabolism and Director of the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases and the Sabri Ülker Center at Harvard University, met with Professor Willett for a discussion entitled “Nutrition, Science and Life.” Prof. Willett talked about the importance of proactive approaches towards creating healthy eating habits. He also elaborated on his own life experiences and provided some advice for young academics.

Prof. Adam Drewnowski, Director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the School of Public Health at Washington University, focused on the relationship between income and nutrition status of a given population, providing data to show that low income groups were disadvantaged when it came to their nutritonal status. He highlighted the importance of family education in order to otpmise positive transformations in nutrition.

Prof. Barbara J. Rolls, Chair of Nutritional Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University, spoke about the importance of education from an early age in preventing obesity. Professor Rolls gave information on strategies to make children embrace balanced eating habits and highlighted the effects of the relationship between nutritional value and portion size in the “Volumetrix” diet, which she had developed. She pointed out that negative messages are detrimental and emphasised that education must be based on positive messages.

Prof. Monique Raats, Director of the University of Surrey’s Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, elaborated on nutrition after middle age and the specific nutritional requirements of this life stage.

The panel discussions focussed on “How and why do nutritional habits change,” and focused on strategies to follow in order to start a cultural change in nutrition. Panellists reminded the audience of the responsibilities of those in charge to equip children with healthy eating habits, as well as the steps that need to be taken in schools. The amount of misinformation surfacing in recent years was also highlighted, with participants explaining where impartial and reliable information should come from. They emphasised that sound education is essential if such information is to be absorbed and acted upon.

The winner of this year’s Sabri Ülker Science Award was the “Instant Tea, Decaffeinated Instant Tea and Functional Instant Tea” project. The award was organized for the second consecutive year in line with one of the Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation’s main missions which is to provide support for research and education. Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, M.D. and Minister of Health, announced the winning project at the award ceremony. Project leader Cesarettin Alaşalvar, M.D., Associate Professor, was accompanied by his teammates Asım Ören, M.D., Professor; Ayşe Karadağ, M.D., Ebru Pelvan and Ferruh Naki Adoğlu. The focus of the project was to produce an aqueous product incorporating plant sterols with efficacy in managing serum cholesterol levels. The resulting beverage is an excellent example of a functional food with no compromise in taste and with cadriovascular health benefits. The project was awarded a prize of 100,000 Turkish lira.

The third Nutrition and Healthy Living Summit brought together in Istanbul world-renowned scientists in their field. The theme of this year's summit was “Past, present and future of nutrition: Cultural transformation in nutritional habits for a healthier society.” Click for more details

The Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation works to better inform the public about food, nutrition and health. The foundation’s primary objective is to provide the public with accurate and reliable information on food and healthy eating habits by staying informed about scientific studies, legislation and practices on a global scale. Click for more details

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), inadequate and unbalanced nutrition is one of the main reasons for diseases and shortened life expectancy in infants and children. Cases of non-communicable diseases have been rising significantly due to the growing health problems of excess weight. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases and various types of cancers are on the rise, particularly among young adults. Nutrition problems in adolescence begin during childhood and continue into adulthood. Therefore, it is crucial to emphasize the nutrition of infants and children by raising the awareness of their parents - particularly their mothers - and by increasing incentives at schools. Click for more details

Click here to see the Third Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Summit E-Book.

The 3rd Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation Nutrition Summit brought the matter of "the future of nutrition" to forefront. The world-renowned scientists, industry leaders, non-governmental organizations and government representatives participated in the Summit. You can watch the videos of participants or download the their speeches as text. Click for more details


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