3 more Eastern Iowa cities become Blue Zones Demonstration Sites - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Three more Eastern Iowa cities become Blue Zones Demonstration Sites

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Three more Eastern Iowa communities have been named Blue Zones Demonstration Sites.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Marion will now all be getting resources to help make their communities healthier.

Dee Delaney goes to the Marion Hy-Vee at least once a week to eat at the salad bar. She's trying to live a healthier life. That's why she took the Blue Zones pledge.

"I would like to see more walking trails and I would like to see Hy-Vee increase their health food section," said Delaney.

So Delaney was glad to hear Marion is now a Blue Zones Demonstration Site, meaning the city will get resources to identify ways it can help residents be healthier.

The Blue Zones concept is based on a book that identified the top qualities that lead to longer, better lives.

Hy-Vee is ready to help. The Marion store has already put healthier salads in the salad case. Possible new steps include Blue Zones checkout lanes and cooking classes.

"Just small steps that make a big impact in the end," said Jen Heringhausen, Hy-Vee dietitian.

Iowa City and Cedar Rapids were also named Blue Zones Demonstration Sites. In Cedar Rapids, city officials held a party to celebrate.

"I think you're going to see more trails in the area," said Ron Corbett, Cedar Rapids Mayor. "You're going to see more programs like our NewBo Market."

Zins Restaurant in Cedar Rapids is undergoing a "Blue Zones Assessment" to see what the restaurant can do to help community members who've taken the pledge.

"It supports the community and it supports this effort," said Chris Miller, General Manager. "It's also a good thing to do. It helps people eat healthier and still have a good time."

The next step is for more residents, schools, restaurants and businesses to take the Blue Zones pledge.

Muscatine, Oskaloosa, and Sioux City were also named Blue Zones Demonstration Sites Wednesday.

Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Spencer and Mason City were named demonstration sites last year.

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