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Hundreds attend Blue Zone Project presentation inside Yakima Convention Center

Hundreds attend Blue Zone Project presentation inside Yakima Convention Center

YAKIMA, Wash.--Yakima is one step closer to possibly becoming the first Blue Zone in the state of Washington.

Hundreds of community members now have an idea on the benefits the city would have of being one of the healthiest in the nation.

Dr. Tim McFadden is one of over 400 community members who now have a better understanding of what Yakima would be like if it became a Blue Zone after hearing a presentation during a Yakima Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

"We filled this place up and it was wonderful," he said. "It exceeded my expectations."

The nationally known project focuses on using local resources to help create longer, more fulfilling lives.

"We bring the rigor, accountability, proven approach, tools and measurement to partner with communities to transform community health," said Blue Zones vice-president of business development Tony Buettner.

Currently there are nine states in the country that have Blue Zone communities, where daily routines include more physical movement, a plant based diet and time for reflection.

Practices that are common in Sardinia, Italy where Blue Zone leaders first gathered data years ago.

McFadden spent time in Sardinia and saw things that Yakima can imitate.

"I see a huge similarity because you have a lot of produce. You have all these great abundance of Mediterranean type produce and here in Yakima we're known for our produce," he said.

As a chiropractor, he says there are benefits to the Blue Zones for him and those who walk into his office.

"The principles of chiropractic are all about healing from the inside out. We have everything we need as long as we're feeding our bodies the right materials," McFadden said.

Blue Zone leaders say right now the data shows otherwise.

"What we do see is very high obesity in the region. We see very low well being," Buettner said.

But that could change if the community decides being Blue the way to go.

"If you want the unhealthy choice, have it. But what a Blue Zone project does is it inspires a community to make the healthy choice the easy choice," said Buettner.

More information on the Blue Zone project can be found by clicking here.

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