The “Role of Nutrition for Health” conference, which will be held for the first time in Turkey in partnership with the Sabri Ülker Foundation and The Nutrition Society, will highlight the critical importance of balanced nutrition for the future of public health. According to the latest research, most of the adult population in Turkey has “inadequate” or “problematic” knowledge about health literacy.
The Sabri Ülker Foundation, which has implemented projects that will increase social awareness and awareness in the field of healthy nutrition, and The Nutrition Society, which is considered the most rooted institution in nutrition in the world, bring together the leading names of the nutrition world in Istanbul. The Nutriton Society, Sabri Ülker Foundation executives and experts, who came together at the press conference before the conference, discussed the importance of the conference and evaluated health literacy, obesity in Turkey and Europe, and nutritional habits in England and Turkey.
Begüm Mutuş, General Manager of the Sabri Ülker Foundation, who delivered the opening speech at the meeting, said that they will host world-renowned scientists in cooperation with the Nutriton Society; stated that they will share the most up-to-date information with the public in order to better understand the role of nutrition in achieving and maintaining ideal health. Begüm Mutuş recorded that health literacy is critical for accurate information and said, “Unfortunately, our health literacy as a society is not sufficient. When we look at the researches today, we see that 35 million of the population of Turkey cannot make the right reading on health. Unfortunately, inadequacy of health literacy is one of the most important risks that negatively affect health.”
Underlining that 1 out of every 5 people in Turkey is overweight or obese, according to the 2022 European Obesity Report announced by the World Health Organization Europe Regional Office, Mutuş said, “Obesity has almost reached epidemic proportions in Europe. Turkey, on the other hand, draws attention as the country with the most obesity and overweight problems among European countries. As a society, we must take precautions without ignoring this situation and raise our level of health literacy to an adequate level.”
35 million of the adult population cannot read correctly about health
Information pollution and inadequacy of health literacy, which are one of the biggest risks in public health worldwide, constitute one of the most important risks that negatively affect the personal health of individuals.
According to the Turkish Health Literacy Level and Related Factors research, 24.5 percent of the adult population in Turkey has an “insufficient” knowledge level, while 40.1 percent have a “problematic” level of knowledge about health literacy. In other words, the health literacy of 35 million of the 53 million adult population is not sufficient. According to the research, 43.5 percent of those with insufficient health literacy level have a disease diagnosed by a physician. These data show that the lack of health literacy is one of the most important factors in the development of the disease.
Speaking at the meeting, Julie Lovegrove, President of the Nutrition Society said, “As the Nutrition Society, we believe that accurate information about nutrition and health literacy is of critical importance for public health. We are very pleased to host this important event that focuses on nutrition education with the Sabri Ülker Foundation.”
“Heart diseases are in the first place in Turkey”
Stating that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death, which makes up 35.8 percent of the population in Turkey, Prof. Dr. Julian Stowell said, “Deaths from cardiovascular diseases in the UK are estimated to account for 28.6 percent of the population. Cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes are among the most important non-communicable diseases that cause death and disease in both societies. Obesity stands out as a serious health problem for both countries. This information is depressing, but there is hope nonetheless. World Health Organization; states that malnutrition, physical inactivity, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are the most important modifiable risk factors. The secret of a healthier life is hidden in the right health literacy education that will be offered to us by our families and teachers from an early age. In this direction, governments should develop new curricula and convey the importance of healthy living from an early age.”
Obesity risk increases
According to the 2022 European Obesity Report, approximately 67 percent of adults in Turkey face the problem of overweight or obesity. In addition, according to the report, about 25 percent of men and about 40 percent of women are obese. This indicates the increasing prevalence of obesity. However, it is stated that adult individuals with a low level of education in Turkey are more at risk of obesity.
Global challenges in nutrition and new solutions will be discussed
At the conference, in addition to Member of the Royal Society of Medicine Prof. Dr. Julian Stowell, important names such as Head of Department of Public Health, Obesity, Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases, Ministry of Health, Assoc. Dr. Nazan Yardım, President of Harvard University Sabri Ülker Center Prof. Dr. Gökhan Hotamışlıgil, Prof. John Mathers from Newcastle University, Prof. Erkki Vartiainen from Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, Prof. Dr. Serhat Ünal from Hacettepe University, Dr. Alison Tedstone, Office of Health Improvement and Disparities, UK, Prof. Halit Tanju Besler from University of Kent, and Prof. Mine Durusu Tanrıöver from Hacettepe University will take place as speakers.
On the first day of the conference, topics such as the role of nutrition in maintaining health, nutrition at the time of COVID 19, immune function and health, public health initiatives for obesity and diabetes in Turkey, and hidden hunger will be discussed. On the second day of the conference, new molecular and architectural determinants of metabolic regulation in health and disease, the latest activities of the T.R. Department of Health, the recent activities of the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) will be discussed.
At the end of the two-day conference, at the roundtable meeting to be held with the participation of the speakers, urgent actions to be taken for the future of public health will be prepared and a statement will be published.