Mayor speaks about Blue Zones to council
Mayor Ed Malloy gave a report on the Blue Zones Project at Monday’s city council meeting.
The Blue Zones Project is an effort to improve the quality and length of life. It is part of Iowa’s “Healthiest State Initiative,” which is attempting to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by 2016, according to the program’s website.
Malloy said grocery stores, schools, restaurants and other organizations would be recognized for the progress they’ve made toward making their community a Blue Zone. The city would make sure that its streets and walkways were getting the maximum usage from cyclists and pedestrians as a sign of its commitment to exercise.
One of the areas Malloy said needs to be changed is the sedentary nature of people’s lifestyles. Instead of holding meetings where everybody sits down, Malloy suggested more meetings could be conducted while standing or even on a walk. He told the audience not to be surprised if he stopped the council meetings periodically so everybody could stretch.
The website www.bluezones.com reports the Greek Island of Ikaria is famous for its inhabitants’ longevity. People there are three times more likely to reach the age of 90 than in the U.S. The website reports chronic diseases are rare on the island, where the people eat a diet rich in antioxidants.
Malloy spoke about this island during the council meeting. He shared a story of a man from the island who came to the U.S. and was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 60. He was told he had a short time left to live. Upon hearing the diagnosis, the man returned to his native home, where he is still living at the age of 102.
Malloy said the man has traveled back to the U.S. in search of his doctors, only to find that they have all died.