Local officials engaged Blue Zones Project because their childhood obesity levels were higher than the national average (pre-2010). Stress levels were high, particularly in affluent Manhattan Beach, measuring the same as New Orleans post-Katrina, or in Detroit. At higher than the national average, significant daily stress was an important unhealthy indicator in the Beach Cities. These three beach cities in Southern California continue to show dramatic improvements since launching with Blue Zones Project in 2010.
15% drop in obese and overweight adults (between 2010-2017). At 12.1 percent, the rate of obesity in the Beach Cities is less than half of the U.S. rate of 28.1 percent – meaning just one in eight Beach Cities residents are obese compared to one in four Americans nationally.
68% reduction in childhood obesity from 2007 to 2019 at Redondo Beach K-5 schools. The number of Beach Cities residents who are above normal weight (obese or overweight) fell from 60 to 50.8 percent. In contrast, 63.7 percent of U.S. adults and 58.7 percent of Californians are above normal weight.
36% drop in smoking (between 2010-2017). The smoking rate in the Beach Cities fell to just 8.9 percent of residents – a rate significantly lower than the U.S. (18.8 percent) and California (13.7 percent).
Now, 65.8 percent of Beach Cities residents report exercising at least 30 minutes a day, three days a week—a 9 percent increase since 2010— compared to just 53.2 percent of adults nationally and 57.7 percent statewide.
The Beach Cities collectively earned the highest 2015 Well-Being Index score (65.9) in the U.S., outpacing all 190 metropolitan areas measured.
Individually, Manhattan Beach (68), Hermosa Beach (67) and Redondo Beach (64.8) placed first, second and fifth in the U.S. respectively.
Since the inception of Blue Zones Project in 2010, improvements in community well-being are valued at:
Based on trends over the past 5 years, we project the total value of well-being improvement by 2020 to be:
U.S. Surgeon General after his orientation to the Blue Zones Project in the Beach Cities, California