Support for Research Projects


The Frequency of Sarcopenia (Muscle Loss) in Individuals over 65 and the Effect of Nutrition on Sarcopenia

Pınar Institute, which carries out studies for the correct evaluation of the relationship between food, nutrition and health, increasing social awareness and producing knowledge based on scientific basis, continues its support for academic studies.

In this context, the Pınar Institute, which supported the project titled "The Frequency of Sarcopenia (Muscle Loss) in Individuals Over 65 and the Effect of Nutrition on Sarcopenia “, aims to draw attention to sarcopenia, an important public health problem. In this project directed by Ege University Faculty of Medicine (EUMF) Head of the Department of Internal Medicine Dr. Fehmi Akçiçek; Prof. Dr. Mehmet Uyar, Head of Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Assoc. Dr. Fulden Saraç from EUMF Endocrinology Department, Assoc. Dr. Reci Meseri from EU the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr. Sumru Savaş EUMF Department of Geriatrics, EU Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Aslı Kılavuz, EU Internal Medicine Specialist Sevnaz Şahin, Expert Dietician Derya Hopancı Bıçaklı from EUMF Oncology Clinic and Assoc. Dr. Hatice Şimşek Keskin from Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health took part.

Through this collaboration, the Institute became a part of the studies carried out to determine the frequency of sarcopenia in individuals aged 65 or more and evaluate the effect of nutrition on sarcopenia, to create data on the prevalence of sarcopenia in Turkey and raise awareness in protein deficiency and physical activity by informing people on sarcopenia.

The aim of the project is to determine the prevalence of sarcopenia in individuals over 65, a syndrome associated with risks such as physical disability, poor quality of life, death and causes loss of muscle power and mass and to evaluate the effect of nutrition on sarcopenia. It was proposed to determine the socio-economic data, nutritional status, physical activity levels of all elderly people taking part in the study and to perform measurements on their body composition and muscle volume. In addition, protein intake levels and nutrient consumption frequency in the elderly are examined.

3 separate doctoral dissertations titled “The Frequency of Sarcopenia in Society and Risk Factors”, "Determining the Frequency of Falling and Home Accidents as a Result of Sarcopenia” and "Detailed Testing of Patients with Sarcopenia at the Hospital and Research for Remedies" were supported within the project. The aim of the doctoral study is to determine the frequency and risk factors of sarcopenia in people over 65 living in Bornova district of İzmir.

The first outputs of the Project were obtained from the doctoral dissertation study of Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Medicine, Public Health Lecturer Assoc. Dr. Hatice Şimşek Keskin's titled "The prevalence and risk factors of sarcopenia in the elderly “.

The dependent variable of the study is the presence of sarcopenia. The presence of sarcopenia was determined by walking speed, grip strength (measured by hand dynamometer) and muscle mass (by measuring calf circumference). The frequency of sarcopenia was measured according to two different evaluations. According to these evaluations, the prevalence of sarcopenia was found to be 5.7% and 5.0%. Approximately 55 elderly who were diagnosed to have sarcopenia were invited to the Ege University Department of Internal Medicine, Geriatrics Branch for further evaluation. The studies are continuing, and the findings will be shared in the future.

Consumer Perception of Milk and Dairy Products

The news in the press about the health effects of foods are increasing day by day and they affect both the consumer first and producer positively and negatively. In order to serve the society as an impartial and accurate source of news, Pınar Institute and Yaşar University Faculty of Communication carried out the project "Consumer Perception of Milk and Dairy Products: The Effects of False Information in the Media" within the scope of TÜBİTAK 3001 - R&D Projects Support Program.

In this study, consumer perceptions of milk and dairy products were examined. Perceptions are one of the most important factors in the formation of consumers' opinions and therefore purchasing decisions. The measurement and management of these perceptions are vital for companies producing in the market. Today, consumer perceptions are mostly created through media. However, in the media, inaccurate information spreads frequently, about food in general and milk and dairy products in particular. In this study, consumer perception based on false information has been examined from different aspects.

Consumers often develop negative perceptions for milk and other dairy products, based on false information spread by media channels. False information spreading from the media is significantly effective in developing negative perceptions of consumers about food products. Such negative perceptions are of vital importance to the marketing policies of the food industry. This research studies what these perceptions are, how powerful they are, and how they are provided through the information presented by the media.

The data was collected in three sequential stages in the project. In the first stage, the media contents were analyzed and in accordance with the data obtained, qualitative data were obtained through focus groups in the second stage. In the third stage, field studies were carried out with question paper (questionnaire) based on the focus group results. In this process, 4 newspapers, 3 TV programs, internet resources were analyzed in the media analysis process, 3 focus group studies of 18 people were conducted and a questionnaire of 50 questions was applied to a total of 733 people.

The following findings were achieved in the overall evaluation of the project results

  • The media significantly affects perceptions about milk and dairy products. The agenda in the media is the context in which the perception of these products occurs.
  • The direction and level of perceptions do not demonstrate great differences according to parameters such as gender, age, income and so on.
  • This can be explained by the effect of the media spreading the news and mainstreaming them and the homogenization effect of the general audience.
  • Television and the internet are the two most important media. Television is more effective for the elderly and the internet is more effective for young people.
  • Producers should make efforts to prevent information pollution, especially on the Internet, by producing or supporting accurate contents.
  • Due to the problem of source person in media in the formation of content about food, the education level of health editors and journalists and press professionals in terms of nutrient information should be increased to determine the standards.
  • In this context, companies should cooperate with professional organizations and public authorities.
  • New analyzes including semiological, semantic and discourse dimensions, and new research involving historical change should be conducted.