In the Loop


Richard Shim, a fan of “The Blue Zones Solution” author Dan Buettner (right), said he’s inspired to do more than 100 push-ups daily at age 85. -- BLUE ZONES PROJECT photo

Central Maui will soon be in the zone. The Blue Zones Project, inspired by five “Blue Zones” regions of the world that have the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older, will include Maui as a demonstration site.

To celebrate, the community is invited to a free kickoff event from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 25, at The Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku.

The event, which includes entertainment, speakers and food for purchase, will highlight Dan Buettner, National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author of “The Blue Zones” and “The Blue Zones Solution.”

Participants will have chances to win prizes and will have photo opportunities with Buettner outside the venue. Besides the author, speakers will include:

• Kathy Collins, emcee

“The Blue Zones” books give readers ways to live longer and stay healthier, according to supporters.

• Laksmi Abraham, community program manager, Blue Zones Project — Central Maui

• Elisa Yadao, senior vice president, consumer experience at HMSA

• Mike Stollar, president and COO of HMSA

Sponsored by HMSA in Hawaii, Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to environment, policy and social networks.

“As a member of the leadership committee, I am really excited about Blue Zones Project having a presence in my hometown of Maui because it promotes making healthy choices, which also aligns with the values of the state’s Farm-to-School Initiative,” said Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui. “Both of these programs are aimed at improving the well-being of the community while encouraging families and children to incorporate healthier eating habits in their daily lives, which means including more fruits and vegetables in their diets.”

Established in 2010, the project is inspired by Buettner’s findings and his work with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being.

Currently, 42 communities in nine states have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 3.3 million Americans nationwide. The movement includes three beach cities in California; 15 cities in Iowa; Albert Lea, Minn.; the city of Fort Worth, Texas; and communities in Southwest Florida, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Oregon and Wisconsin.

In January 2017, Central Maui was named a Blue Zones Project demonstration site, receiving support from national experts to implement a comprehensive, evidence-based plan for improving community well-being.

For more information, visit or like @bzpmaui on Facebook and Instagram.