All eyes are on diabetes!

The Sabri Ülker Foundation hosted the satellite symposium, “The Relationship Between Chocolate Consumption and Health,” at the 9th World Congress on the Prevention of Diabetes and its Complications (WCPD) in the U.S. city of Atlanta on December 2–4, 2016. The organization also presented significant findings from Balanced Nutrition Education Project, undertaken in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education.

The first edition of the program was carried out in Denmark in 1996, and the WCPD celebrated its 20th anniversary this year in Atlanta. The WCPD has been hosted by various countries across a number of continents, including Finland, Italy, Spain, Colombia, Japan, and India, sharing contemporary developments in the fields of medicine, nutrition, and physical activity that relate to the struggle with diabetes and its complications. Participants include academics, health professionals, industry representatives, associations, foundations, and even people with diabetes.

Prof. Mahmoud Ibrahim, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Ninth WCPD and the Director of the EDC Center for Diabetes Education in the state of Georgia, U.S., emphasized the achievements in the struggle against diabetes, but also underlined that there is much more to be done. For this reason, on the second day of the congress, a meeting was held with the participation of more than 40 experts from international organizations. They discussed the topics, “Where is the world in the struggle with diabetes?” and, “The Future of the fight against diabetes.” In addition to these important panels, other sessions drew attention to the prevalence of diabetes and the impact of lifestyle changes on the prevention of this disease, particularly in relation to nutrition. One of the most significant messages of the sessions was that the responsibility for the struggle against diabetes should not be left just to health professionals. Academia, associations, foundations, the food industry, and those responsible for health policies should also play their part.

Balanced Nutrition was shared as a best practice!

Prof. Tanju Besler, Ph.D., a member of the Science Committee of the Sabri Ülker Foundation, shared the results of the Balanced Nutrition research in the session themed “Nutrition and Diabetes Prevention.” The project is considered a best practice example for early childhood nutrition education, and Prof. Besler’s presentation received great interest and acclaim. It also served as a point of reference for the congress message on the importance of collaboration in combating diabetes.

The role of bitter chocolate in the prevention of diabetes

Another interesting part of the conference was the satellite symposium hosted by the Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation, “Chocolate and Human Health.” Presentations included “Chocolate and the Prevention of Cardiometabolic Diseases” by Prof. Mahmoud Ibrahim, M.D., Ph.D., and “The Effect of Chocolate on Cognitive Function and Mood” by Prof. Tanju Besler, Ph.D., from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the Eastern Mediterranean University. During the session, the potential benefits of bitter chocolate, when eaten as part of a balanced diet, were explained. This ingredient is a rich source of dietary polyphenols, and can positively influence cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, and cognitive functioning.


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