Sorry I’m gone so much these days. This is my second challenging semester in a row and I have to publish before the end of the year. And, as always, I’m distractible.
Anyway, I sat in on a talk a week or so back about some regional efforts in the United States meant to increase “wellness markers” among the populations of various states and cities. As a resident of one of the fattest, unhealthiest states in the union, we’ll try anything to work on our ongoing obesity problem.
As part of the planning, the usual think-tank types have been getting together to discuss possibly putting “Blue Zone” measures/clubs in place around the state, as some other states are doing with varied success, though it isn’t certain yet whether these efforts are just more wasted time and/or taxpayer money.
Anyway, the ‘Blue Zone” thing is based on the work of Dan Buettner, a guy who, continuing the work of some ethnologists doing longevity studies for the National Geographic Society a few years ago, has identified some regions of the world where people live markedly longer and healthier lives than most other places.
Read more here (excuse my linking to Wikipedia): Wikipedia Entry: Blue Zone
As I listened, the very enthusiastic representative of Louisiana’s Health and Hospitals discussed those things that healthy populations and regions have in common:
- They put personal lives ahead of all else
- They don’t use tobacco
- They don’t eat red meat very often
- Fish is eaten regularly (they don’t split hairs over fish/meat)
- They drink alcohol regularly, but in moderation
- They have some sort of spirituality
- They have extended circles of friends
- Exercise is worked into their lives seamlessly (they walk everywhere or row boats for fishing, etc.)
- They eat beans and grains far more than meat
Then, the lady listed the official Blue Zone areas:
- Sardinia, Italy
- Okinawa, Japan
- Loma Linda, CA
- Icaria, Greece
- Nicoya, Costa Rica
Remember, these are places where people live happily and live to be very old.
Now, they had no idea an undercover WN was in the audience, but I sat there Googling these places on my iPad with the very first question that occurred to me…Guess what I immediately suspected and immediately found to be true:
1. None of them are in Africa or the Muslim world
2. These places are overwhelmingly lacking in diversity
3. In those areas with MORE diversity, blacks are “underrepresented”.
The lack of diversity of most of the places listed is well-documented and has even been studied.
Here is a quote from an article in the International Journal of Modern Anthropology titled “Sardinian Population: A Genetic Review“:
“A high degree of internal heterogeneity was also found and it can be attributed first to strict isolation and consequent high levels of endogamy and consanguinity, secondly, to selective factor linked to endemic malaria that influenced the distribution of some gene frequencies. Finally an influence on Sardinian’s biological history could be attributed to the demographic events such as low population density and scant matrimonial movement, which triggered off phenomena of genetic drift.”
In other words, they’re all cousins and it has allowed their genes to develop in a way beneficial to their survival. No immigrants.
It sort of flies in the face of “Our Diversity is our Strength” nonsense.
Even Loma Linda, the “Blue Zone” with the highest degree of diversity has mostly Whites and Asians and few blacks. So “diversity” per se is less dangerous to the collective health of a given population than the presence of those of Negroid descent. The reasons are legion, I’m sure, not least among them the stress that comes from having the crime rates and other social burdens that the presence of those of African descent bring…
Also, it seems strange that Muslims, representing one billion residents of our planet, aren’t better represented. Perhaps all those suicide bombings and inter-tribal civil wars keep them from making it to 100 with any regularity…Maybe we can grade Muslims on a curve. If they make it to 40, they’re really 100 in civilized human being years. Relax. Just kidding.
But what becomes apparent when reading about the Blue Zones with a race-conscious and critical eye is that what ISN’T in these areas is as important as what is, and it has a health impact that can be measured.
And, remember. Without immigration, colonization, travel and “diversity,” we might arguably be healthier as a species.