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Is Blue Zone a money grab?

 

Last updated 7/20/2018 at 8:53am



Are you familiar with the “Blue Zone” project that is marching forward in our community?

The “Blue Zones” are a waste of taxpayer money. The Minnesota-based Blue Zones company finds communities like ours, who have a hospital district but no hospital. They toss around the term “evidence based” with no peer reviewed, double-blind or controlled studies, and cite gerrymandered communities with long-living residents as “proof.”

Their process is not based upon medical science or outcome analysis – just a book by a National Geographic reporter who visited sites where people live long lives.

They have more failures than successes – look at these two communities in Iowa – $5m a year – $25m total. They don’t mention these failures in their pitch – http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/cedar-rapids-and-marion-dropping-blue-zones-joining-healthy-hometowns-instead-20180223

The Blue Zone folks, and our board of directors, have been evasive when it comes to the price tag and duration. Here is what another community researching the program said: http://www.goerie.com/news/20180117/erie-community-leaders-discuss-blue-zones-cost-scope.

“Multiple millions of dollars” for social engineering – in which the diet suggestions are in conflict with real evidence based studies.

Consider this – we can be a “Healthy Hometown” for free and allocate the healthcare district monies for real medical services that address the needs of our diverse community. The Foundation, food pantry, REINS and other charities could make much better use of these monies and keep them in the community.

And, since it is a healthcare district, let’s use the money to improve health care:

1) Enhanced ambulance services – patients need to be transported out of town to nearby acute care hospitals

2) Outpatient surgery center – so folks could recover close to home

3) Well-equipped urgent care – where many "semi" emergencies could be addressed rather than racing to an out-of-town emergency room.

4) Open-to-the-public sport park (on the healthcare district site on Mission) with running/walking track and nutritional, tai chi, fall and fracture reduction, Parkinson's and diabetes programming.

We need to be better custodians of taxpayer healthcare district dollars – and take better care of our residents who have lost their local hospital – not spend millions on unproven social experiments.

I suggest that concerned citizens get involved. Contact the Fallbrook Regional Health District and attend the next “Blue Zones” meeting –

http://www.fallbrookhealth.org/.

Millions of our taxpayer dollars are riding on this decision.

Dean G. Sbragia

 

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