B L U E Z O N E S I N S T I T U T E

Identification, Explorations, Research, Certification

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What is Blue Zones?

Blue Zones is the trademark used to describe the world’s longest-lived cultures and the common characteristics that explain their longevity. It is the vision of Dan Buettner who, with Michel Poulain, identified four of the five blue zones hotspots and has led and aggregated the research to identify the common denominators. Gianni Pes first used the term blue zone to describe an area of extraordinary longevity in Sardinia’s Nuoro region. Pes, Poulain and Buettner are Blue Zones co-founders and continue to collaborate to identify, certify, and learn from blue zones hotspots around the world.

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Founder's Statement

BLUE ZONES is a brand and certification mark developed by Michel Poulain, Dan Buettner, and Giovanni Mario Pes when investigating people around the world living longer and better. BLUE ZONES is now a registered trademark owned by BLUE ZONES, LLC, and used by Messrs. Poulain, Buettner and Pes under license. Centenarians exist worldwide but there are only a few areas where their concentration is exceptional so that the population could be considered as living longer.

Blue Zones Timeline

June
1999
Dan Buettner organizes expedition to Blue Zones area of Okinawa
June
2004
Michel Poulain and Gianni Pes publish research on Sardinia
June
2005
Dan Buettner first trademarks Blue Zones term in the United States
June
2007
Second National Geographic expedition to Nicoya (“Blue Zones Quest”) to search for a longevity explanation. Led by Dan Buettner, with Michel Poulain, Gianni Pes
June
2008
First National Geographic expedition to Ikaria, Greece. Michel Poulain leads demographic verification; Dan Buettner leads overall team
June
2009
Second National Geographic expedition to Ikaria, Greece. Led by Dan Buettner, with Michel Poulain and Gianni Pes
June
2009
Dan Buettner launches first Blue Zones Project in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
June
2012
“Island Where People Forget to Die” appears in New York Times describing Ikaria in detail—by Dan Buettner
June
2000
Michel Poulain and Gianni Pes publish first article describing the Blue Zones area of Sardinia
June
2005
“Secrets to Long Life” cover story for National Geographic first identifies Okinawa and Loma Linda as Blue Zones areas—by Dan Buettner
June
2006
First National Geographic expedition to Nicoya Peninsula, Michel Poulain leads verification effort, Dan Buettner leads overall team
Nov
2007
National Geographic publishes expeditions findings, first describing Nicoya as a Blue Zones Area—by Dan Buettner
June
2008
Blue Zones: Lessons from World’s Longest-Lived People, describes Blue Zones Areas in Sardinia, Okinawa, Loma Linda and Nicoya—by Dan Buettner
June
2009
National Geographic publishes Ikaria findings first describing Ikaria as a Blue Zones Area—by Dan Buettner
June
2010
Michel Poulain, Gianni Pes and Luis Rosero Bixby publish research on Blue Zones regions
June
2015
Blue Zones Solutions: Lessons on Living and Eating from the World’s Longest Lived People describes meta analysis of Blue Zones Areas Diets—by Dan Buettner
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Research and Publications

Ajala, O., P. English, and J. Pinkney. “Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Different Dietary Approaches to the Management of Type 2 Diabetes.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (March 2013), 505–16.
Akisaka, M., L. Asato, Y. C. Chan, M. Suzuki, T. Uezato, and S. Uamamoto. “Energy and Nutrient Intakes of Okinawan Centenarians.” Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology (June 1996), 241–48.
Antonogeorgos, G., D. B. Panagiotakos, C. Pitsavos, C. Papageorgiou, C. Chrysohoou, G. N. Papadimitriou, and C. Stefanadis. “Understanding the Role of Depression and Anxiety on Cardiovascular Disease Risk, Using Structural Equation Modeling; The Mediating Effect of the Mediterranean Diet and Physical Activity: The ATTICA Study.” Annals of Epidemiology (September 2012), 630–37.

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