The Blue Zones

English: Dan Buettner speaking at The UP Exper...

English: Dan Buettner speaking at The UP Experience 2010 in October 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

The specific Blue Zones under study are Sardinia Italy, Okinawa Japan, Nicoya Costa Rica, Ikaria Greece and Loma Linda, California.

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


About nadineandadamblog

Nadine and Adam are mother and son. Nadine lives in Florida where she has provided outpatient MNT in a large healthsystem for the past 20 years. In addition, she teaches nutrition to second and third year family medicine residents. She is a past-spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Adam lives in Washington State. His career has largely been involved in recipe development and food production. He is currently developing recipes and menus for the Seattle schools to meet the new federal guidelines for school nutrition programs and he does outpatient nutrition counseling. He is also a voice in PSAs over Seattle radio representing the Washington Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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