Blue Zones Project Results: Beach Cities, CA

  • 68% drop in childhood obesity rates at Redondo Beach K-5 schools
  • 15% drop in adult obesity and overweight rates
  • 36% drop in smoking
  • 10% drop in significant daily stress since 2010

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.

Obesity and Overweight Rates

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.

Smoking Rates

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.

Overall Well-Being Score

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.

Creating Value for Beach Cities

Since the inception of Blue Zones Project in 2010, improvements in community well-being are valued at:

  • Savings of $21M in direct medical expenses
  • Reductions in projected lost productivity of $21M
  • A cumulative total of $42M in value
  • $341 average annual per capita value

Based on trends over the past 5 years, we project the total value of well-being improvement by 2020 to be:

  • Savings of $74M in direct medical expenses
  • Reductions in projected lost productivity of $51M
  • A cumulative total of $125M in value
  • $1,011 average annual per capita value
Click here for more information and to view detailed results from the Blue Zones Project in Beach Cities, CA.
“In an age when poor health seems so intractable, you’ve taken this community from a place of resignation to a place of hope.”
Dr. Vivek Murthy

U.S. Surgeon General after his orientation to the Blue Zones Project in the Beach Cities, California

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