Blue Zones is on the horizon for Fort Worth
Posted Aug. 2, 2013
Okay friends, I’ve been chomping at the bit to tell you about this for some time now: Thanks to the leadership of our business community, Fort Worth is in the running to become the nation’s largest Blue Zones urban project! And with our community’s strong health initiatives already set in place, Fort Worth is an ideal city for Blue Zones.
So, what the heck is Blue Zones? Glad you asked.
Have you ever wondered how you can live to be 100 years old or older? Well, Blue Zones is a community-wide well-being initiative to help us live better, longer and healthier lives. No, it’s not about taking away your right to have french fries, red meat or a milk shake. Hey, I love those things too. The Blue Zones program is designed to give citizens more options and help us make healthy choices through permanent changes in our environment, our policies and our social networks.
As Blue Zones CEO Dan Buettner says, “Longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. They live in environments that get them moving without thinking.”
Despite the extraordinary growth and urban sprawl in our region, we should strive to design a city that’s naturally healthier. Instead of throwing up our hands, I say we start somewhere — and I suggest we start here and now.
Three cities in greater Los Angeles began their Blue Zones Project journey in 2010. Within two years, those cities:
- Reduced obesity by 14 percent
- Reduced smoking by 30 percent
- Increased exercise and healthy eating by 10 percent and 9 percent respectively
- Raised well-being by three points as in the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index
But Blue Zones is not only about improving the health of our city and its citizens. It’s also about reducing healthcare costs, creating jobs and fueling a strong economy. You see, people and businesses want to be a part of a city that’s committed to being healthy. In fact, the Blue Zones Project in greater Los Angeles drove $9.3 million in healthcare savings among a population of 120,000 people. Sounds pretty good to me, and that’s what prospective businesses are looking for.
In part, because of the economics of being a healthy community, our local business community has stepped up in a big way to fund the current Blue Zones evaluation. Led by Texas Health Resources, more than 200 other business, education and community organizations have committed to the Blue Zone effort. This is just another example of doing public good through private investment, and I’m thrilled to be a partner.
Stay tuned for more information as our community continues its progress as one of the healthiest cities in the nation!
Betsy Price, a Fort Worth native, was elected as the 44th mayor of the City of Fort Worth June 18, 2011. A successful business owner and lifelong public servant, Price uses this forum to ensure transparency and inform residents of issues and programs that affect their daily lives.
About Mayor Price
Betsy Price, a Fort Worth native, was elected as the 44th mayor of the City of Fort Worth June 18, 2011. Read the mayor's bio »
1000 Throckmorton St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76102