International fight against ‘shock diets’

The Sabri Ülker Foundation, which works to prevent information pollution on health and nutrition issues, asked the question “How to Fight Information Pollution?” at the 11th World Science Journalists Conference held in Lausanne, Switzerland. hosted the session. In the session, followed by a group of journalists from Turkey, the best practices from the world and Turkey in the field of health and nutrition were shared, and what should be done to prevent information pollution was discussed. The session was attended by European Food Information Council Communications Director Nimali Samarasinha, Science Media Center President Fiona Fox, Sabri Ülker Foundation General Manager Begüm Mutuş and Communication Sciences Institute Founder Prof. Dr. It was organized with the participation of Ali Atıf Bir. In the session, which drew attention to the importance of the communication of scientific information, the ethical codes of science journalism were also discussed by mentioning how news about health and nutrition affects the society.

Very dangerous information is shared on social media and satellite channels.

Sabri Ülker Foundation General Manager Begüm Mutuş, who met with members of the press after the panel, stated that she is also in the management of the European Food Information Council and said: It is one of the most read, most sensational and misinformed news. In addition to our international collaborations and the activities of our independently established scientific committee, we also work closely with members of the media to contribute to the dissemination of accurate information. Especially in social media and broadcasts on satellite channels, false information that can be extremely dangerous about shock diets, vitamins and supplementary foods is shared. Through our scientific committee, we evaluate the accuracy of the false information in the news and posts above a certain reach or the adequacy of the mentioned researches and share them with the media and the public on the Science Talks platform. Although our fight against misinformation is still limited, we aim to reach wider audiences by strengthening our international cooperation.”

We work with 10 thousand teachers

Begüm Mutuş, who also gave information about the work of the Sabri Ülker Foundation, said: “We have a very strong scientific committee. Its biggest goal is to manage the Foundation independently. We attach great importance to not directing the scientific committee. Our biggest goal is to support science on healthy nutrition and contribute to the development of society’s health. We employ 6 people in the foundation. I can say that it is a small but very effective team. For example, we work with 10 thousand teachers in our ‘Balanced Nutrition’ program for schools. We have reached 750 thousand students so far. We work in one-on-one communication with a huge army of 10 thousand teachers.”

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The conference in Switzerland was organized with the participation of the chief editors and science editors of the world’s leading publications such as The Guardian, Le Monde and Financial Times. The conference, watched by more than 500 people, focuses on a theme every year and brings together solutions on the basis of better broadcasting and communication in science and health journalism. Sabri Ülke Foundation’s session was attended by European Food Information Council Communication Director Nimali Samarasinha, Science Media Center President Fiona Fox, Sabri Ülker Foundation General Manager Begüm Mutuş and Communication Sciences Institute Founder Prof. Dr. Ali Atif Bir participated.

Missing references in health and nutrition news
“Resource Evaluation of Health News in Turkish Media”, which examines the health and nutrition contents of the most visited web pages in Turkey, draws attention to the lack of reference in the news. According to the results of the research, 94.7 percent of health and nutrition news are published anonymously. While the rate of news without reference source is 40.4 percent; When we look at the news cited, it is seen that national sources are 31.9 percent and international sources are 15.8 percent, according to the types of sources cited in the news. The inadequacy of the use of sources reveals that the scientific views of international reference institutions are not reflected in the news content, and it also emerges as one of the most important elements of the information pollution experienced in these areas.

Top question: healthy eating

Sabri Ülker Foundation’s “Resources Used for Healthy Nutrition Information and Trust in These Resources 2018” research reveals that more than half of the society trusts the names in communication channels with their expert identity on healthy nutrition issues. According to the research, social media reveals that the most information is received, but it also raises questions about trust.

One of the most curious subjects is healthy nutrition with 32 percent. While the rate of those wondering about general information about health and weight loss/diet issues was 22 percent, the issue of nutritional supplements was in the last place with 2 percent.

 The people who are most respected in healthy nutrition are in the first place with 62 percent against the names in the communication channels with their expert identity.

 While family/friends/environment is seen as 38 percent, social media and television are stated as the most information source, but the feeling of trust in these channels is 13 percent.

 One out of every 10 people who get information about healthy nutrition from any medium always applies what they hear.

 One out of every 5 people is curious about weight loss/diet issues as well as healthy eating.

Turkey’s only scientific information platform

The Sabri Ülker Foundation shares scientific and current information on health and nutrition with the public through Turkey’s first digital scientific information platform ‘Science Talks’. Articles, scientific publications and research on healthy life and nutrition on the platform are published in both Turkish and English.

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