Rise of Meat Consumption Wiping Out Blue Zones

Designated areas with high centenarian populations are consuming more meat and dying younger.

A recent feature in Canadian media outlet MacLean’s explored a phenomenon plaguing blue zones—or areas with the largest concentrations of individuals over 100 years old. In 2009, Michael Poulin began to study blue zones—namely Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece—to determine the commonalities between the areas, and found that one common thread was residents followed a mostly plant-based diet. Poulin’s new research of younger generations in the blue zones indicates that they will not live as long as their predecessors due to an increase in meat and junk food consumption. The American diet brought to Okinawa via a United States military base in the 1940s will wipe out the blue zone there in 10 to 15 years. “We won’t speak of extraordinary longevity in Okinawa anymore,” Poulin says. Researcher Diane Kochilas confirms the same fate for Ikaria and states, “Meat is prevalent, and fast-food and souvlaki, potato chips and junk food are common.” In Costa Rica, Nicoya is now home to many Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds' fast-food chains, and as a result is undergoing a “nutritional transition,” according to global health scholar at Macalester College Eric Carter. Outside of the disappearing blue zones, the spread of the Western diet—characterized by higher sugar, saturated fat, and meat consumption—into areas such as China and Africa, has been credited for increases in obesity rates and nutritional deficiencies.

More News

Brooklyn's Vegan President Pushes to Ban Bologna

Eric L. Adams introduced a resolution that would ban disease-promoting processed meat at New York City public schools.
Read More »

Director Kevin Smith is Now a Non-Animal Eater

The Clerks director has officially ditched all animal products after a devastating heart attack made him reconsider his dietary habits.
Read More »

Ed Sheeran Buys Vegan Domino's Pizza for Dedicated Fans

The musician treated fans who camped out to see his concert in Brisbane, Australia to vegan pizzas from the chain, which recently added Follow Your Heart's vegan cheese to its menus.
Read More »

UK Doughnut Chain Opens an All-Vegan Outpost

The new plant-based location of doughnut shop Crosstown in London aims to make cruelty free doughnuts that rival the “real” thing.
Read More »

Zac Efron Thrives on a Purely Plant-Based Diet

The High School Musical actor reveals that ditching animal products has improved his metabolism, sleep, and exercise routine.
Read More »

This Week on VegNews TV: The secret to these delightful sweet treats is white beans! Aylin Erman shows you how to make these simple blondies.

More Videos »