Balanced Nutrition

Place: turkey, Europe
Food consumption patterns: diet, environment, society, economy and health Food consumption patterns: diet, environment, society, economy and health
Total Budget: € 264.912,00 | Period: From September 2011 To


As the SUGAV, we have made it our mission to assist our children in developing the habit of sufficient and balanced nutrition. Within this framework, under cover of our Minister of National Education we started a valuable education project called as “Balanced Nutrition” with worthy contrıbution of MEB Elementary School General Directorate. We launched an education project called "Balanced Nutrition" in 10 provinces. Realized with the cooperation of our ministry and with the partnership of Akademetre our project will be introduced to students all around the country in the next three years.The content of our project was prepared with the aim of making it the most comprehensive and sustainable healthy nutrition project in Turkey. Our basic message is that you can eat everything in a "balanced" way. "All you have to do is learn to balance." This project is aimed at helping children learn to eat healthly based upon the Healthy Eating Plate. 


Sabri Ulker Food Research Foundation - Turkey

Lead applicant

-Nutrition and Healthy Living Summit April 26, 2013 The Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation focused on one of the most important topics in recent years, "Nutrition and Healthy Living", with international scientific circles. At the "Nutrition and Healthy Living Summit" organized on Friday, April 26, 2013, scientists from Turkey and around the world discussed new global trends in nutrition, healthy living and food safety, as well as approaches to creating new policies in this field. . -Balanced Nutrition Education in Soccer Villages Educators who took part in the "Balance in Nutrition" Education Project organized by the Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation (SÜGAV) offered education on balanced nutrition at the TFF-ÜLKER Soccer Villages, covering ten different soccer village in the months of August and September. These projects were carried out in 10 provinces: Balıkesir, Erzurum, Gölcük/Izmit, Rize, Sinop, Sakarya, Nevşehir, Isparta, Elazığ and Yozgat. In the educational programs that lasted 1.5 hours each, our SÜGAV educators provided children with information about athletes' nutrition and nutrients. Children got to have fun and learn about balanced nutrition thanks to interactive games. •Sabri Ülker Science Award The vision of the Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation is to become an independent, scientific, non-profit organization which is trusted and respected and which contributes to the development of society's awareness of food, nutrition and health. In consideration of the mission of the "Supporting Research and Educational Programs," the first Sabri Ülker Science Award Contest was held this year. Various brochures and posters were prepared for the Sabri Ülker Science Award for distribution at universities and institutes, to be hung on boards, published in newspapers and magazines, sent via mail or e-mail and used in digital media. In order to communicate with readers and participants, a web site was prepared and launched for the Science Award Project Competition, featuring all information, competition specifications and an application form. Science Award notices were published in newspapers and magazines, announced in industry journals and web sites, broadcast on TV and radio, and publicized on digital media, Google, Facebook and other pertinent web sites. Additionally, the Science Award announcement was sent to our e-mail list, posters were sent to our "Balanced Nutrition" pilot schools and universities, and visits were made to university departments which offer programs in the fields of food and nutrition. 100.000 TL was given as a Science Award to a scientific project.

Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Education - Turkey

Initiative partner

It is accountable for the supervision of public and private education system, agreements and authorizations under a national curriculum. According to Law no. 3797 on the organization and duties of the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry today consists of three divisions called: central, provincial and overseas organization. The Ministry of National Education has provincial organizations in 81 cities and 850 towns, 58 of them being the central towns of metropolitan cities. The Ministry of National Education has representation offices in 22 countries with 21 education undersecretaries and 17 education attaches.

Akademetre - Turkey

Initiative partner

According to the findings of the Turkish Health and Nutrition Survey prepared by the Turkish Ministry of Health, inadequate nutrition exists in Turkey. As a consequence of inadequate and unbalanced nutrition, noncommunicable diseases like heart attack, cancer, diabetics and osteoporosis occur. Conscious and unbalanced nutrition is a result of a learning process. It should be penetrated to the people at an early age. This projects serves for the food security in terms of diet, where only food harvested, procured and produced in good and secure conditions are taken into consideration. This program is unique, where no other education initiatives on nutrition patterns for the children exists in Turkey. The message of the programme is "You can eat everything as long as it is balanced. Only thing to do is to learn how to balance."

Our initiative generates social innovation level. We reach children from entire regions of Turkey. We believe that every children has right to reach equal education. We reach the children in every district of Turkey and give them trainning on nutrition. One of our partner Ministry of National Education Elementary Schools General Directorate chooses pilot school schools every year from the entire regions of Turkey. In the project the eating behaviours of the school children are evaluated via questionaries before and after the education programme.(Nutrition test) Those results are evaluated by our other partner of the project-Akademetre. According to the findings of Akademetre consumption rate of white bread and sugary products are decreased and the consumption of protein was increased. We serve to the public health,which has great contribution to the social innovation level. 

Foto Foto
children at lunch time lunch time

The project was launched on 2011-2012 school year. Currently Istanbul, İzmir, Gaziantep, Trabzon, Antalya, Aydın, Erzurum, Kahramanmaraş, Kayseri and Sinop are pilot cities. We reached totally 500 schools in those provinces. This situation indicates the geographical aspect of the project.  Project is carried out for 32 hours throughout the school year, this education is given minimum one hour per week at those schools. The Nutrition test implemented to the children are the most detailed nutrition profile testing in Turkey, which is the most significant social feature of the project. The regions where the programme is implemented varies culturally. We embrace the cultural differences and give a unique aspect in our education programmes. Technologically we use qualitative and quantitative testing method in every school. The education programme is sponsored by SUGAV. 

School classes School classes

As a consiquence of the education programme and Nutrition survey the evalution below is made. For teachers weekly white bread and full fat cheese consumption frequency have decreased.Compared to the first period, products with increased consumption are vegetables, yogurt, milk products (except cheese), whole grain bread and eggs, low fat cheese, meat and meat products, milk, legumes, raw nuts, corned vegetables and fish. For students products with increased weekly consumption frequency are yogurt, milk, low fat cheese, other milk products, eggs, vegetables, whole grain bread, candies, legumes, meat and meat products, raw nuts, salted sunflower seed and fish. Compared to the first period products with decreased weekly consumption frequency are white bread, fruit, full fat cheese, chocolate and french fries. We have reached 200.000 students and 7000 teachers totally in this initiative. Additionally Nutrition Test was implemented to 43500 students and 3500 teachers in internet.  

The main beneficiaries are 8-10 year old children and teachers. The reason why we chose this target group can be explained by a statistics made on Turkish Health and Nutrition survey, done by Ministry of Health.(2010) According to this survey; 15% of 0-5 aged children are slight overweight, 4% very thin, 3% thin. 15% of 6-18 aged children are thin, 4% very thin, 8% overweight and 14% slightly overweight. As a consequence of those findings every one of five children are overweight. Nutritional habits are shaped during the first years and it is hard to change later. Healthy eating habits should be developed at early childhood. We target elementary school students to help them improve healthy eating habits. Food security in itself serves for adequate and secured food consumption.For food security the consumer should demand healthy food. For this demand, the healthy eating habits should be brought to people at a very early age. 

Children Children and the food pyramid
classroom classroom
healthy food little girl and her meal
main beneficiaires 8-10 year old children and teachers

Within SUGAV; General Secretary Begüm Mutuş, General Management and Communication Director Ebru Timur and 3 specialists (Elif Tuzlakoglu, Deniz Dincer, Ozlem Ulic) work for the project. They overtake the entire secretary. The people have background on project management, food science and nutrition. The project is conducted within the body of Turkish Ministry of Education Elementary Schools Directorate. They choose the pilot schools and give necessary permission for the education activities. They charge city coordinators. From Akademetre Alev Bayrak and Aybike Sen work for the project. They analyse  and interpret the nutrition survey. Our consultant is Prof.Dr. Tanju Besler-the Scientific Committee Member of SUGAV and Professor at Hacettepe University, Department Nutrition and Dietetics

Human resources involved in the Initiative Human resources involved in the Initiative
conference conference
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The main problem was that the children learned about healthy nutrition at schools but false nutrition habits were implemented by the parents at home. That caused great conflict for the students. In order to influence the parents, a "game book" was prepared. In this game book there were questions both for the children and the parents. They could both learn and follow what their children learn. We sent to every parents a "parents letter",
where we explained the entire project. In 2014 parent training sessions were implemented. 

Consumer choices play great role on environmental issues. This project focuses on conscious nutrition, hence the consumption of healthy and sustainable food increases. This project influences directly consumer choices.The main message given is for the promotion of the adequate nutrition.The project try to eliminate the overconsumption of food products. Elimination of overconsumption serves for more sustainable and environmental friendly world. Hence it avoids overproduction of food and this serves to eliminate carbon footprint and promotes energy saving. This fact serves to defend biodiversity. 

The project has played a very positive role on diet patterns of teachers and children. According to our qualitative research  the awareness that nutrition should be diversified in terms of product groups have increased. The awareness regarding food calorie information has increased. Vegetables, milk and milk products are considered as stars of nutrition. According to students’ consumption of certain foods; there is a decrease at the last test in comparison with the first test in consumption frequency of white bread, fruits and full fat cheese, chocolate and french fries. Students’ awareness on white bread has increased, benefits of brown bread is expressed without questioning. 


Yemet Denge logo Yemet Denge logo

Every year we are engaged in several dissemination and exploitation activities. We participate in congresses and conferences and we conduct meetings with the stakeholders and present the project. We participate in minimum 3 Congresses on food, nutrition and dietetics, we open a stand there where we give information on our project and distribute our leaflets on Balanced Nutrition. We organize every year Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle Summit. We conduct training sessions for the parents. Last year we organized 3 parents training sessions and we will be organizing 7 more sessions this year. We have been organizing every year annual meetings in every pilot cities. We both organize meetings for city coordinators and for the school directors and guidance counselors of the schools. We have also created some games to children in order them to repeat what they have learned during the lessons.We disseminate our findings to children via these games in our web page. 

flicking through the brochure flicking through the brochure
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