Blue Zones initiative officially underway in Cedar Valley - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Blue Zones initiative officially underway in Cedar Valley

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The Blue Zones initiative is officially underway in the Cedar Valley.

Tuesday there was a kickoff event in Waterloo and there will be one Wednesday in Cedar Falls.

When Lori Moss learned that two goals of the initiative were lowering health care costs and childhood obesity rates, she was instantly interested in the idea.  

"It's important that I see what he and any children after that get in school, and what they're being fed and just that they're getting good nutrition," said Moss, who lives in Waterloo.

Moss was one of more than 400 people at Waterloo's Blue Zone kickoff event.

Each of the four Iowa cities selected to be a blue zone demonstration site: Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Mason City, and Spencer get a kickoff event and Waterloo's was first.

The Blue Zones Initiative is based off a book by Dan Buettner - which asks people to pledge to take steps towards a happier, healthier life.

"People are nudged into moving a little bit more, eating a little bit less, socializing more," said Buettner.

So what are a few things you can do at home? Buy smaller plates and glasses. It will cut calories from your meal. Another tip-eat dinner as a family at least three times a week.

"Having a dinner three times a week creates better social connections in a family and we know those who are bonded in their own family have great social connections, and lead healthier lives and happier lives," said Felicia Cass, local program manager.

The Moss family also plans on planting a garden and joining a walking group.

Now that cities have launched their initiatives, it's time for the hard part.

Residents, schools, restaurants and businesses have to take the pledge.

Once that happens, Blue Zones Demonstration Sites can become Blue Zone Certified Cities.

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