Nutrition, Source of Life is an exhibition on food, nutrition and healthy lifestyles in a sustainable environment that aims to show how an improvement on food and consumption patterns through recommendations on nutrition, physical activity, education and hygiene in a sustainable way, have an impact on the daily life. This impact can be observed in the social, health, economic and nutritional environment with an increase in food security and a decrease in the degradation of natural resources. The exhibition is intended for the general population of all ages and is supported by governmental and non-profit institutions, academia and food and nutrition industries. The exhibition has been widely accepted by the audience. As a result, it has generated a series of activities that have aroused the interest of the population. This exhibition is transferable as it was designed in an easy packing way to be moved to different museums and cultural spaces within Spain and different countries.
Iberoamerican Nutrition Foundation - SpainLead applicant
University of Granada - SpainInitiative partner
Park of Sciences of Granada - SpainInitiative partner
Food, nutrition and healthy lifestyles in a sustainable environment
The main innovation that the exhibition Nutrition, Source of life has generated is the three-dimensional FINUT Pyramid of Healthy Lifestyles. This pyramid has been designed as a tetrahedron that includes a guide for an active healthy lifestyle, which is addressed to population of all ages. The three faces of the pyramid include: 1) food and nutrition, 2) physical activity and rest and 3) education and hygiene; all of them accompanied by a number of good practices and recommendations that are easy to follow in order to improve the local educational, social and cultural surroundings that help to increase the environmental sustainability with the purpose of ensuring a good health status for the present and future generations. This novel tool is simple and intuitive and does not need any additional information to be easily interpreted. It provides in a simple and understandable way all the recommendations that an individual needs to develop an active healthy lifestyle.
In the recent years, the definition of health has changed; it now goes beyond the absence of disease and physical, mental and social well-being and includes the concept of sustainable development applied to the diet and its contribution to food security, integrating it with a healthy environment. Nutrition is one of the topics that arouses most interest in society as it forms the foundation of a long and healthy life; promotes food production in a sustainable way, ends malnutrition, and contributes to prevent chronic non-communicable diseases and to know the nutrient interaction with human microbiome. The exhibition Nutrition, Source of Life was designed to raise awareness of the fundamental concepts in nutrition that everyone should implement to have better health and quality of life. It was opened to the public on the celebration of the 20 International Congress of Nutrition, giving people of all around the world the opportunity to attend.
The main result of the exhibition has been the acceptance and interest that the audience has shown participating on it. The exhibition itself has generated further initiatives as workshop, seminars, forums and lectures that have had a real positive impact on the local population. One of the results that we are most proud is the educational initiative that has been created. Since its opening in Granada, in September 2013, more than 90.000 school children from Andalusia have attended the exhibition and more than 700.000 people have visited it. Additionally, for the local activities generated by the Exhibition, the attendance has been massive (an average of 150 people per event); in most of the events the auditoriums have been filled.
The exhibition Nutrition, Source of life was conceived as a vehicle to transfer scientific information in a simple and understandable manner on food and consumption patterns to the general population of all ages. This initiative addressed the need of the population for reliable information in the area of nutrition provided by a trustworthy source. In this respect, the exhibition stands out both its scientific quality and its communication skills to satisfy the request of the population, exposing in a very clear way and full of visual content (images and videos)all the information based on a responsible and balanced view. The exhibition has been designed in such a way that children, adults and the elderly can enjoy passive, active and interactively expanding their knowledge in the area of nutrition. We have been working separately with children, parents and teachers in order to strengthen the information given in the workshops to assure the practicing of the new knowledge.
This initiative was developed by The Iberoamerican Nutrition Foundation (FINUT), led by its President, Professor Angel Gil, who was in charge of the organization and coordination of the exhibition, he is characterized by his leadership and building capacity. In total, there were nine people involved in the development of the exhibition. The scientific committee was constituted for five Professors from the University of Granada: one of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, one of Nutrition and Food Science, one of Physiology, one of Prehistory and one of History; plus one teacher of History. All of them specialized in their area of study and involved in the development of the content shown in each section of the exhibition. The organization of the exhibition at Parque de las Ciencias was carried out by its Director and by the Director of the Department of Science and Education, both of them experts in museology. The financial management was in charge of the FINUT’s manager.
The main obstacle that the exhibition faced but successfully overcame was the capture of funds for its development, since its preparation coincided with a serious financial crisis in Europe and particularly in Spain. This crisis affected all the economic sectors, including the companies contracted for the design, production and development of the exhibition, as well as food and nutrition institutions and companies. Indeed, the FINUT had to hire a specialised company to develop a strategic plan to present the project to public and private bodies. This plan exposed the quality, the value and the educational impact that the exhibition would have on the population and the importance of its fulfilment. It was a hard work to get funding; however, the prestige of the Director of the exhibition and its ability to negotiate with the food and nutrition industry and governmental and non-profit institutions finally allowed covering the budget for the realization of the exhibition.
The Exhibition Nutrition, Source of life addresses the issue of the environmental impact from two different points of view. On the one hand, most of the sections in the exhibition have an area that highlights the importance of sustainability from the perspective of food production, processing, consumption or disposal of wastes. These areas explain in a simple and practical way how the local actions of each individual can contribute to the sustainability of the environment and have an impact in a global level. In addition, there is a specific section entitled “The ideal environment” that explains in detail how a sustainable development is able to satisfy the current needs without putting those of future generations at risk. On the other hand, the exhibition is held at the Parque de las Ciencias, a museum that promotes energy saving through the installation and promotion of clean energies. It has solar roofs that generate part of the energy that supply electricity to the exhibition.
Our initiative is relatively new to have generated long lasting results yet; however, it has aroused expectation on the population that has derived in a variety of activities that have had a very good acceptance. For children, there have been workshops and educational activities in elementary schools where the kids have had interaction with experts on nutrition. For the general population, there have been workshops and forums where people have clarified doubts in specific health areas, there is also a section dedicated to nutrition in a weekly TV program. For professionals, there have been scientific workshops and courses where they have interacted with experts in different areas related to nutrition and a group of them have been trained to transmit the information. Indeed, this exhibition is transferable; it will be held by different Science Parks and Museums in Spain (e.g. Museum Blau of Barcelona) and will be in 2017 in Argentina in the 21st International Congress of Nutrition.
The exhibition itself is a disseminate initiative of good practices in food consumption patterns. However, in addition to its own purpose, an advertising campaign was designed to attract the assistance of the public. The Parque de las Ciencias website has a section that describes the exhibition since its opening in September 2013 that coincided with the 20 International Congress of Nutrition; during that event there were tents and banners all around the city of Granada, promoting the event. Additionally, bus adverts and billboards in strategic points were placed. Leaflets were designed and distributed to tourism offices, hotels, congresses and all the events related to the exhibition. The exhibition was announced in newspapers, radios and TV, as well as in the websites of Scientific Societies. Moreover, a scientific article “The FINUT Healthy Lifestyle Guide: Beyond the Food Pyramid” (Gil et al. Adv Nutr 2014; 5:358S-367S) and a guide of the exhibition were published