Get to Know Your “Blue” Zones

April 12, 2022: Brought to Upper Napa Valley through an innovative sponsorship by Adventist Health and Blue Zones, LLC, Blue Zones Project® is a community-by-community well-being improvement initiative designed to enable community members to live longer, happier lives with lower rates of chronic diseases and a higher quality of life. Adventist Health is a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii, and others across the U.S. through its Blue Zones® organization, a pioneer in taking a systemic and environmental approach to improving the health of entire cities and communities. Adventist Health leads a 21st-century well-being transformation movement through this work and other initiatives.

Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks. Blue Zones Project is based on research by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five cultures of the world—or blue zones —with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older. The Project incorporates Buettner’s findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs to move a community toward optimal health and well-being. Blue Zones launched the first pilot community in 2009 in Albert Lea, MN, with groundbreaking results. In partnership with Sharecare, the model has since been applied to more than 70 communities across North America, impacting more than 4.35 million citizens. The population health solution includes two Health Districts in California; 15 cities in Iowa; the city of Fort Worth, Texas; Corry, Pennsylvania; Brevard, North Carolina; Walla Walla Valley, Washington; and communities in Southwest Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.bluezonesproject.com.

April 12, 2022: Blue Zones Project® Upper Napa Valley announced that the first local grocery store had been designated as Blue Zones Project Approved™ Grocery Store. Sunshine Foods Market completed the review process, which includes adding signage to highlight locally grown produce, selling healthy grab-and-go lunches, offering half sandwiches in the deli, distributing healthy recipes, and displaying Blue Zones Project inspired food choices on featured aisle endcaps.

The Blue Zones Project checkout lane is a change for parents with young children. Instead of being stocked with candy, gum, and sweet treats that kids typically look for — and that many adults may find hard to resist — the Blue Zones Project checkout lane features a variety of healthy snacks, such as granola bars and nuts. “We are thankful to be part of Blue Zones Project Upper Napa Valley and look forward to continuing our efforts to provide easier access to healthier food options,” said Sunshine Food Market owner Jay Smith.

“Supermarkets are the perfect advocates to promote health and well-being,” said Blue Zones Project Upper Napa Valley Executive Director Joaquin Razo. “We applaud Sunshine Foods Market for making healthy choices easier for its customers. The leadership of Sunshine Foods is a milestone in the Upper Napa Valley’s Blue Zones Project experience.”

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