Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

By João Filipe Marques, Pavilhão do Conhecimento – Centro Ciência Viva

Inadequate nutrition and dietary practices are major contributors to obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Solid nutrition knowledge, optimal dietary behaviors, and the maintenance of a healthy weight are key modifiable factors in health promotion and chronic disease prevention. Nutrition and food literacy have therefore emerged as key components in the promotion and maintenance of healthy dietary practices. Health literacy refers to the knowledge, motivation, and competencies that enable the identification, appraisal, and application of health information to make healthy decisions.

Pavilhão do Conhecimento in Lisbon, Portugal, focused the ISCSMD programme on good health and well-being, and sustainable cities and communities, using food and health literacy to engage learning experiences. For this, a science café for families was conceived in which kids had the floor.

The science café started by playing a substitution game with a muffin recipe in which healthy ingredients were replaced for usual ones. While the cakes where in the oven, children and parents discussed with nutritionists and psychologists a set of prepared topics:

  1. Is food all the same?
  2. What are the food needs of ninjas and ballerinas?
  3. Why do my parents say no when I want to eat chocolate, if they hide it in their drawer?

The conclusions came right before the snack was ready. In other rooms, there were lab activities regarding food allergies and intolerances, where people could understand the motives and differences between each immune system response.

In the kitchen, the importance of color, sustainable production and seasonality in natural dietary goods was explored, by cooking a colorful snack made with healthy ingredients from the season.

Pavilhão do Conhecimento, in Lisbon, is a science centre that shows how science and technology education in support of the SDGs has a larger impact beyond economic growth alone and can serve the greater good for the planet and its people.