Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens Success Story: Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

Since the May 2011 launch of Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens, we’ve been receiving success stories and examples of exhibits and activities taking place in museums and gardens across the country. One recently launched exhibit is a fine representation of the work museums and gardens can do to fight childhood obesity using interactive exhibits. It’s called “Big Food: Health, Culture and the Evolution of Eating,” an exhibit at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Connecticut.

Big Food opened on February 11, 2012. It was the brainchild of Professor Jeannette Ickovics, from the Yale School of Public Health, who wanted to highlight the current food-related challenges and opportunities that are at the heart of the Let’s Move! campaign.

Big Food begins with a startling visual of the amount of food the average American eats and finishes with a challenge for visitors to reflect on their role in personal and community health and the sustainability of our food system. In between it examines behavioral choice in nutrition and exercise as well as the influence of social, environmental, and cultural settings. Using an engaging multimedia and family-friendly approach, visitors are able to investigate our origins as hunter-gatherers; explore societal pressures such as the progressive growth of portion sizes; tackle media influences on food preferences; and consider serious health consequences that have increased the burden of chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

Big Food visitors are setting healthy goals for themselves and their families. Check out the new Big Food App.  See the commitments already made at the Yale Peabody Museum and add your vote!

Any museum or garden wishing to become a Let’s Move! Museum or a Let’s Move! Garden is encouraged to visit www.imls.gov/letsmove.

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