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Am J Public Health. 2013 Dec;103(12):2204-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301462. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Museums as a venue for public health intervention.

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  • 1Jeannette R. Ickovics is with CARE: Community Alliance for Research and Engagement, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT. Jeannette R. Ickovics was also the lead curator of Big Food.


Big Food: Health, Culture, and the Evolution of Eating broke numerous records for museum attendance, highlighting the public's appetite for public health. During its 10-month run at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, more than 120 000 visitors attended Big Food, including 25 000 students through the museum's public education program, an increase of 30% more than the average student attendance in the past decade. Big Food cost approximately $100 000 to build, comprising printed panels and objects, installation displays (e.g., custom-built cases to house such objects as sugar-sweetened beverages and healthy and diseased organs), temporary walls, video monitors, food products, and more. At less than $1 per visitor, this provided extraordinary public health value.

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