The U.S. Conference of Mayors Pass a Resolution Supporting Blue Zones Community Well-Being Initiatives

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America’s top mayors passed a resolution encouraging cities around the country to adopt a proactive systems approach to health based on Blue Zones’ widely proven model of improving the well-being of communities

At their 89th annual meeting, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), which represents mayors from over 1,400 of America’s largest cities, passed a resolution to “create community Blue Zones well-being initiatives to combat chronic disease and comorbidities” in a show of support for public health and well-being.

The resolution encourages cities and leaders to take a proactive approach to well-being with a focus on prevention and healthy lifestyle as “mental health awareness, a stressed-out workforce, lifestyle-related diseases, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the coming ‘silver tsunami’ of an active and vibrant older population are all driving demand and innovation for well-being solutions” and “communities with higher well-being have lower healthcare costs, vibrant economies, and thriving workforces.”

“Just five years after launching the Blue Zones Project in the city, Fort Worth went from the 185th to the 31st healthiest city in the nation,” observed Fort Worth, TX Mayor Mattie Parker, who introduced the resolution. “We are tackling the global health crisis of our lifetime and now, more than ever, we need to promote and advance evidence-based solutions that are critical in the face of the current pandemic and our nationwide healthcare crisis. Blue Zones Project Fort Worth shows the tremendous impact that a systems-focused multi-dimensional effort can have to improve the health, wealth, and well-being of an entire city."

The full text of the resolution is available here.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, founded in 1932, is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of over 30,000 and contributes to the development of national urban policy. Resolutions, when passed, collectively represent the views of the nation’s mayors and become the official policy of the UCSM. They are also distributed to Congress and the President of the United States.

Mayor Stephen Benjamin, the Immediate Past President of the USCM and current mayor of Columbia, SC said: “As the elected leaders closest to the people and the ground, we rely on informed and thoughtful policymaking to improve the health, wealth, and quality of lives of our constituents.”

Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami commented in support of the resolution, “As mayors, we are committed to guiding our people toward a better future. That brighter future can’t happen unless we make a concerted and strategic effort to improve our collective health and well-being.”

Blue Zones uses their proven model to help cities, counties, and organizations through community well-being programs that lower healthcare costs, improve productivity and happiness, and increase social connectedness and economic vitality. Ben Leedle, CEO of Blue Zones, said, “Improved well-being has a direct impact on health, innovation, productivity, and resilience, so placing it at the center of city policy and planning is imperative to ensure a healthy and happy future for all."

Blue Zones and partners will be holding a webinar in November to discuss reducing comorbidities and creating healthier, happier communities.

About Blue Zones®
Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live better, longer. The company's work is rooted in explorations and research done by National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner, who identified the blue zones regions around the world where people live extraordinarily long and happy lives. The original research and findings were released in Buettner's bestselling books The Blue Zones Solution, The Blue Zones of Happiness, The Blue Zones, Thrive, and Blue Zones Kitchen—all published by National Geographic books. Using original Blue Zones research, Blue Zones Project® works with cities to make healthy choices easier through permanent and semi-permanent changes to a city's human-made surroundings. Participating communities have experienced double digit drops in obesity and tobacco use and have saved millions of dollars in healthcare costs. Currently, 60 communities across North America have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 4 million Americans nationwide. For more information, visit bluezones.com.

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Naomi Imatome-Yun

Danny Buettner, Jr
@BlueZones
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