This week I am attending the Florida Dietetic Association annual symposium in Orlando.
The opening session was titled the Blue Zones and the speaker was
Dan Buettner, a New York Times best selling author. The Blue Zones refers to areas of the world where it has been proven that people tend to live longer. And not just 3-5 years longer; these remarkable regions have the largest numbers of centenarians! Only 25% of life expectancy can be attributed to genetics. The remaining 75% is influenced by lifestyle and environment.
These diverse populations have a number of things in common:
- Days that are filled with movement.
- The ability to take the time to unwind and de-stress.
- A sense of belonging in a faith-based community.
- A social network that assures mutual care and people who support best health behaviors.
- Focus on family first.
- Sense of purpose while aging.
- Plant-based/Mediterranean diet that includes wine daily, legumes, seeds, beans and no beef.
These are great lessons for all of us. Currently, Buettner is working with researchers in Iowa to see if Blue Zones can be created by optimizing a community’s environment to promote a change in behaviors.
Post by Nadine