Creating ‘blue zones’ in supermarkets

SAN ANTONIO — The Health and Wellness @ Retail 2013 kicked off on a strong note as National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner discussed, during his opening keynote presentation, his findings after traveling the globe to uncover the best strategies for longevity and happiness.

The session, sponsored by Cardinal Health, was titled “Integrating blue zones into communities to improve health outcomes.”

Buettner identified “blue zones” — places where people have the greatest life expectancy — and shared how supermarkets can incorporate blue zone techniques into their own communities. The blue zones include Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, Calif.

Based on the research, those living within the blue zones tend to live active lifestyles, have a healthy outlook and rituals that help reduce stress, feel they have a purpose, are well connected with friends and family, and eat wisely.

“Longevity wasn’t pursued; it ensued. Longevity happened to them. They lived in an environment that nudged them their entire life into eating a little bit less, eating a little bit better, moving a little bit more, being more social and being more purposeful. They were the result of their environment and not the other way around,” Buettner told attendees.

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