Minnesota Children's Museum and UnitedHealth Group Partner to Help Minnesota Children Win the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

September 21, 2010
  • UnitedHealth Group sponsors popular Big Healthy Fun! program that encourages children to stay active, donates $50,000 to the museum

Minnesota Children’s Museum and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) are launching United in Big Healthy Fun!, a daily program at the museum that helps enhance the health and well-being of Minnesota children and keep families moving together.

In addition, the museum received a $50,000 contribution from UnitedHealth Group to support the daily program, which encourages children and adults to strengthen and increase their gross motor physical activity.

The physical nature of United in Big Healthy Fun! encourages children to develop physical skills such as balance, coordination and strength by trying new large-motor skills, and build social-emotional skills by learning to share equipment with others and take turns. Adults and children can participate in a variety of activities, including team-led scarf-and-ribbon dancing, hula hooping, carpet skating and balancing on balance beams. In addition, parents may find resources on the museum’s website,, including ideas for playing and being more active at home.

United in Big Healthy Fun! starts at 11:30 a.m. Saturday through Thursday and 6 p.m. on Fridays. The program is free with Museum admission. For more information about United in Big Healthy Fun! and on promoting healthy lifestyles for families, visit

“One of the most effective ways to inspire children’s activity is for parents to demonstrate the importance of physical movement,” said Dianne Krizan, president of Minnesota Children’s Museum. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with UnitedHealth Group to provide hands-on experiences that bring children and parents together and influence healthy lifestyles.”

“Ending childhood obesity is critical to ensuring the health and well-being of our state’s children. The Big Healthy Fun! Program will inspire children and their families to stay healthy and get active,” said Kate Rubin, vice president of social responsibility at UnitedHealth Group. “We are proud to partner with the Minnesota Children’s Museum to offer this enjoyable and noncompetitive outlet for families.”

According to the American Heart Association, both children and adults are becoming increasingly sedentary. During the past three decades, the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for preschool children and tripled for school-aged children. In Minnesota, about 23 percent of children ages 10-17 are considered overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

About Minnesota Children’s Museum

Minnesota Children’s Museum is a non-profit community educational organization committed to smart play: sparking children’s learning through play. Infants ages six months through children age 10 discover their world through hands-on exhibits in five permanent galleries: Our World connects children to people and places in their community as they role play “grown–ups” in a child-size environment; World Works encourages creativity and problem-solving through investigation and experimentation; Earth World immerses children in lifelike Minnesota habitats to nurture an understanding of the natural world; Habitot® enables infants and toddlers to safely explore four developmentally designed learning landscapes; and Rooftop ArtPark brings nature and art together in an outdoor gallery on the Museum’s fourth floor. Two special galleries offer exciting traveling exhibits from around the world. Fun drop-in programs such as Story Time and Big Fun! take place daily. Kid Spark, the Museum store, is located in the first floor lobby. Minnesota Children’s Museum has been providing children and adults with a fun, educational environment since 1981.

The Museum is located at Seventh and Wabasha streets in downtown St. Paul. For 24-hour information, visit or call 651-225-6000.

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group ( is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of health benefit programs through UnitedHealthcare, Ovations and AmeriChoice, and health services through Ingenix, OptumHealth and Prescription Solutions. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide.