We report the first observation of the quantum Zeno and anti-Zeno effects in an unstable system. Cold sodium atoms are trapped in a far-detuned standing wave of light that is accelerated for a controlled duration. For a large acceleration the atoms can escape the trapping potential via tunneling. Initially the number of trapped atoms shows strong nonexponential decay features, evolving into the characteristic exponential decay behavior. We repeatedly measure the number of atoms remaining trapped during the initial period of nonexponential decay. Depending on the frequency of measurements we observe a decay that is suppressed or enhanced as compared to the unperturbed system.