The Blue Zones (Second Edition) by Dan Buettner, National Geographic 2012 is a report about a world-wide study of centenarians: women and men over a hundred years of age. The author traces his travels to areas where there are a significant number of people that fall within that demographic. The newest edition includes two Mediterranean islands: Sardinia and Ikaria.
Ponce de Leon searched for a legendary Fountain of Youth but tailed to find it and there are a myriad of products and services promising to delay or reverse the aging process in humans. Buettner initially attempted to indentify a single factor but found a variety of possibilities among the people he met during his travels. In some cases there were contradictions between cultures he studied. In his summary he lists nine general principles.
The fundamental question underlying the research is, What does it mean to live a good life? There are dangers in succumbing to the extremes of material deprivation or overabundance. There are negative consequences to personal isolation and definite benefits of human engagement with others. Longevity is all about quality of life at every stage of development.
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