WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

Dan Buettner: "Blue Zones: Second Edition"

Human longevity is thought to be explained by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. But recent studies show that as much as 90 percent of life expectancy may be determined by habits. Several years ago, a team of National Geographic scientists identified four regions in the world where people live the longest. In these so-called “Blue Zones,” residents experience far lower rates of chronic disease than Americans do. And people who live in these zones share common habits: they eat mostly plants, are spiritual and have strong ties with family and friends. Now, researchers have identified a fifth Blue Zone: the island of Ikaria, Greece. Author and explorer Dan Buettner on lessons for a long life from the world’s oldest people.

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Dan Buettner presented "How to live to be 100+" at TED in September 2009. To find the path to long life and health, Buettner studies the world's "Blue Zones," communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In his talk, he shares the nine common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100.

Read An Excerpt

Excerpt from "The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest" by Dan Buettner. Copyright 2012 by Dan Buettner. Reprinted here by permission of National Geographic. All rights reserved.

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