2014 Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Summit

2014 Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Summit
The physiology of food intake and the health effects of physical activity

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. In line with this goal, we support and collaborate with universities, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations. We strive to achieve our roadmap targets of presenting the public with reliable and useful information about food and nutrition, encouraging a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle and supporting research, educational programs and other initiatives.

Following its successes of the first summit, we held the 2nd Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Summit at the Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul on May 7, 2014. At the summit, internationally acclaimed and renowned scientists shared the latest scientific discoveries in healthy eating and healthy living. The impartial panel discussed the messages that would contribute to the society’s culture of healthy eating and healthy living.

This year, we organized the Sabri Ülker Science Award Competition in keeping with a crucial component of the roadmap drawn by the Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation, that is, “to support research and educational programs”. The winner Prof. Gülay Bayramoğlu, was presented her plaque and award during the summit's award ceremony.

We believe that we have provided accurate and memorable information at the summit through participants who are leaders in nutrition and healthy living.

The relationship between obesity, nutrition, diabetes and physical activity were discussed thoroughly by the prominent scientists at Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation’s 2nd Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Summit, which was moderated by Jülide Ateş.

Prof. Gökhan Hotamışlıgil, Prof. Ron Maughan and Prof. John Edward Blundell presented the most recent international studies at the summit. Prof. Gökhan Hotamışlıgil, who is the Chair at the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at Harvard University, made his mark in medical literature with his identification of the first gene pathways linking obesity and diabetes. Prof. Ron Maughan is a faculty member at Loughborough University and serves as an advisor to England's Football Association (FA), in addition to FIFA. Prof. John Edward Blundell, who is a faculty member at the University of Leeds, is one of the most highly cited researchers in the science of appetite regulation, energy balance and physical activity.

Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, the Minister of Health and Mehdi Eker, the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock also participated in the summit. Prof. Gülay Bayramoğlu, was the winner of the Sabri Ülker Science Award, which was held for the first time during this year’s summit. She was presented the award of 100,000 Turkish lira for her executable project in food safety.

In addition to the scientists, both Fenerbahçe star Dirk Kuyt and Ali Ülker, Vice Chairman of the Yıldız Holding Board of Directors, participated in the healthy living panel.

“The Physiology of Food Intake and the Health Effects of Physical Activity” was the main topic at the 2nd Annual Nutrition and Healthy Living Summit. Following the opening speech by Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, the Minister of Health, the first part of the summit focused on scientific messages.

In his speech, Prof. Gökhan Hotamışlıgil, emphasized the challenges in developing new strategies to prevent or treat diseases which have an alarming rate of increase globally. He explained that based on laboratory studies in the past two decades, the genetic origins of complex diseases such as obesity and diabetes were affected by factors that integrate cellular stress and metabolism.

“Sabri Ülker was a man who led a balanced life. He would not skip meals and would walk the factory floor. He was active all round. As a testament to his life, we established the Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation to develop projects that increase the health awareness and promote conscious behavior in society. With our mission to support scientific projects on food, nutrition and health, we organized the first Sabri Ülker Science Award Competition this year. We want to cultivate a generation who is strong mentally and physically. Therefore, we started the Balanced Nutrition Project. I firmly believe that we will develop significant projects in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in the future.”
Vice Chairman of the Yıldız Holding Board of Directors

“It is essential to have an insight that is based on spiritual and physical health. Our primary responsibility is to make people healthy before they get sick. The role of the food industry in healthy nutrition is undeniable. In addition to maintaining a good balanced diet, we must balance to all aspects of our lives. In light of the saying "Let the people live, so the state can live," contributing to the healthy living of our nation’s citizens is perhaps the biggest support we can give them, or the entire humanity. In this regard, I would like to express how delighted I am to see that the Sabri Ülker Foundation has adopted an approach that supports public health and especially the children and the youth. Thank you giving me the opportunity to state the position of the Ministry of Health. I extend my regards and best wishes to you all.”
The Minister of Health
“The consumption of food produced by others is one of the many problems people face today. It is vital for each country to have plenty of food that is sufficient, accessible and safe for all its citizens. The ministry implements regulations, which comply with the EU standards, in consideration of the production capacity, infrastructure of the food industry and the public health in Turkey. Sabri Ülker Foundation is similar to major foundations in developed countries that raise the society’s awareness on food and nutrition by performing R&D activities and disseminating information. Including Sabri Ülker Foundation, non-governmental organizations and professional organizations must provide enlightening information on food and nutrition to the public. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock collaborates with the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Health to eliminate obesity, a major public health issue. I am very pleased to participate in this award ceremony. I would like to congratulate everyone for their efforts.”

The Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock

“We intended to create a reasonably priced, portable and highly secure system that can provide direct diagnosis. During our studies, we came across very positive findings that we shared with the scientific community. In contemplating what else we can do with the findings and how we can put them into practice, we continued our work. I am very appreciative that my project is recognized. Thank you everyone.”

The winner of the Sabri Ülker Science Award


“There are no excuses for being overweight. However, we need to protect our bodies from hunger due to intermittent food intake. Protection from hunger is no longer a selective ability due to lifestyle changes in the last two centuries. Especially with the modernization of the society, we now live in an environment where our anatomies are not prepared for adapting the conditions such as constant exposure to unfamiliar food, lack of physical activity, plenty of nutrients and longer lives. Diseases stem from the inconsistencies among these conditions. Passed down from generation to generation, there is a chain of truth where everything was tested through time. Actually, what I want to point out is the inadequacy of our knowledge, that is, we are ignorant about nutritional information. Obesity is a frequently discussed issue. We still have the same genes as we had 30 years ago, but only five-to-six percent of the population was obese then. Today, the obesity rate is at 20 percent. The increase is completely related to the changes in lifestyles. We must first increase our knowledge to access the right nutrients. Instead of compulsive overeating, we must enjoy life. The secret to a long and healthy life may be revealed but you may not want to live accordingly. There is no need to take radical steps; simply add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, increase your water intake and be physically active. These are the indispensable elements for not being overweight.”
Chair, Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard University

“Nutrition is very important for the athletes both before and after a game. I follow a special diet program under the guidance of a dietician. I try to eat healthy by consuming vegetables two or three times a day. I also drink plenty of water. However, I still have not learned all that I can about nutrition. Therefore, I try to improve myself continuously..”
Football Player, Fenerbahçe S.K.

“The biggest mistake people make is to act in haste when they decide to gain or lose weight. They reduce a significant amount of their food intake suddenly with excuses such as 'I cannot wear a bikini unless I drop 10 kilograms in six weeks'. This is just a recipe for disaster.Sugar is a complex issue; we all hear that it is bad for us. In fact, the amount of sugar intake varies according to the person’s need for energy. When used moderately, sugar is not harmful. Whereas excessive intake of sugar may not be harmful to a very active person, an inactive person will be adversely affected by the extra calories it provides. The calories burned by marathon runners primarily come from sugar since fats are not assimilated as quickly as fast sugars. We must refrain from sugars if we do not need a lot of energy or exercise. Here is the problem with the diet programs: people who go on a diet are constantly hungry and they cannot eat what they want. Actually, eating is gratifying. Therefore, limiting the food intake does not work in the long term. Not to mention, physical activity and exercise play a crucial role.”
Chair in PsychoBiology, University of Leeds

“Food is the cheapest and most abundant source of pleasure for anyone. The food industry is coming up with delicious food ideas to attract people, who in return, divulge in the pleasures of what they eat. Following a natural nutrition plan is not a simple task when we are faced with so many food choices. We need to be careful and include a variety of foods in our nutrition plans. If we want to be healthy, we need to have the discipline to exert complete control over our food choices. What is tasty is not always healthy. You must be disciplined enough to resist the most delicious foods that are not healthy for you. Sugar addiction has become a hot topic nowadays. There are several approaches to sugar consumption. Sometimes the media presents sugar as poison, something that should never be consumed. Such approach must be avoided. Instead, the media should provide accurate information about sugar consumption and the scientists should be more sensitive about the issue. Everyone should follow specific diet plans based on their unique needs for energy from calories, which is something they should be aware of on their own. While it is easy to consume more than the required calories, people find it extremely hard to eat less.”
Chair in PsychoBiology, University of Leeds

“There is no such thing as unhealthy foods. However, there are foods that may adversely affect the metabolism due to excessive consumption. Therefore, life, food and nutrition must always be balanced. One important issue that tips off the balance is the fact that we spend most of the day sitting due to our jobs. That is why I try taking the stairs instead of the elevators or escalators. Living an active life is very important. I believe we would have healthier and more dynamic metabolisms if we were to exercise as often as we just sit. We must teach kids good eating habits and instill basic nutritional values. In this regard, we have our Balanced Nutrition Project, which we have adapted to Turkey thanks to the contributions of various institutions, organizations and our scientific board. We manage the project jointly with the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Health. With the balanced nutrition training we provide at 500 schools in ten provinces, we reached one million students. We also provide a training set that can be practiced as part of the curriculum. As mentioned by the Minister of Health, educating children about balanced nutrition is not enough by itself. In fact, we must achieve nutritional awareness as a society. Therefore, we will continue to support scientific studies in our endeavor of raising the awareness of the society. Actually, it all starts with shopping. The fundamental elements are purchasing the right food that is fresh, reading the expiration date and ingredients and preferring factory packaged products. In addition, you should visually select fresh produce. Using the items that you bought, you should create the right menus and prepare the right foods based on your household needs. You must only consume the amount of calories that you can burn; for example, the energy needs of white-collar families are different from farm families. Do not add salt without tasting the food first. Salt is only needed in small quantities; therefore, its intake must be appropriately balanced. Your food should not be drenched in oil; it must be used sparingly. The focus is on balance. So, I say balance again. Balanced nutrition, balanced life.”

Vice Chairman of the Yıldız Holding Board of Directors
2017 Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Summit
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