Loma Linda, California, 1




gift located fitting (2)
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based fierce (2) spring chicken
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willing universal meaningful







A Gift of Time. A fitting name for a clock shop located in Loma Linda. People in this Inland Empire (a county in California) enclave, seventy miles east of LA (Los Angeles), see more new days than practically any place on the planet.

Venita Welliver is a hundred, a spring chicken compared to her neighbor, Betty Streisling.

Betty Streisling: “I feel great!”

Betty is a hundred-and-two (102).

Lots of communities have centenarians, but Loma Linda is a so-called Blue Zone, designated by National Geographic as one of the five longest living communities in the world.

The average life expectancy here is anything but average.

Dr. Bryan Boll, Pathologist: “Mine would be eighty-nine (89) years.”

Doctor Brian Boll is a pathologist, a blood researcher and former dean of the Loma Linda University Medical School.

Dr. Bryan Boll, Pathologist: “Now being male automatically shortens my life span by about two years.

Nothing I can do about that.”

But in Loma Linda, the average man makes it to eighty-nine (89) compared to the national average for men which is just seventy-eight (78). The average woman here lives to ninety-one (91).

That’s huge.

Dr. Bryan Boll, Pathologist: “It is huge because for the females in the general population, it’s about eighty-one (81) years.”

But Loma Linda is not a general population community. There are different values and a different lifestyle here; a lifestyle based around the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Dr. Bryan Boll, Pathologist: “We’re thankful our Heavenly Father for this new day, for this good food.

When it became obvious that Adventists were living a longer, even the federal government got curious as to why this might be the case.”

Here the body is a temple. A typical Loma Linda breakfast isn’t bacon and eggs; it’s hot oatmeal or granolas, spiked with flax-seed, nuts and plenty of berries.

This thin class of the local fitness center is as fierce as it gets, and the regular riders are all over sixty.

Fitness Club Member, One: “Sixty-five (65).”
Fitness Club Member, Two: “Sixty-three (63).”
Fitness Club Member, Three: “Seventy-five (75) years old.”

Dr. Boll says fitness, science, religion — they all work together in his hometown.

Dr. Bryan Boll, Pathologist: “Among Adventist, science has always been looked upon with approval.”

But never at the expense of being observant: come here on any Saturday, the labs are quiet, local businesses are closed. And you won’t find much work going on.

But you will find the chapel full.

Dr. Bryan Boll: “Saturday, which is the Sabbath, we go to church, meet with friends and family. Attention turns away from making a living. Instead, more important things: ‘where is your life going? Are you doing what you want to do?’”

The science hasn’t proven whether observing the Sabbath on its own helps you live longer. But . . .

Bryan Boll, Pathologist: “That wouldn’t be too surprising, because I don’t think the human organism isn’t designed to work seven days a week.”

Venita has no doubt following Adventist guidelines has contributed to her longevity, even if it means occasionally breaking the rules.

Venita Welliver: “Like today, I had to have a bite of something sweet. And then I felt like I became sweeter myself in disposition.”

Sweetness too may be a key to longevity, something Dr. Boll encourages in his eleven year old granddaughter.

Dr. Bryan Boll, Pathologist: “We’re here to serve God, and we served God best by serving our fellow man.

Which brings us to something universal among all the world’s longest living communities:

Dr. Bryan Boll, Pathologist: “Viewing your life as meaningful.”

Venita Welliver: “There’s a lot to do if you’re willing to do it.”


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Loma Linda, California.
Because it’s a small city, nobody knows about Loma Linda, California, USA. True or false?

New York City.
Do people in Loma Linda feel very stressed, or are they content and satisfied with their lives?

Los Angeles, CA.
Statistics indicate that the residents are average in terms of life expectancy and mortality. Is this right or wrong?

Miami, Florida.
Who lives longer, men or women?

San Francisco, CA.
Are most of the Loma Lindans atheists, agnostics or secular?

Vancouver, BC, Canada. The residents of Loma Linda typically eat bread, meat, pasta and rice; cakes, donuts, chips and biscuits. Is this correct or incorrect?

Chicago, Illinois.
On Saturdays, do Loma Lindans party, smoke, drink, listen to loud music and talk nonsense?
Boston, Massachusetts. Are there regions in your country were people live long, healthy lives?

Washington, D.C.
Do you know or did you know anyone in their eighties, nineties or hundreds? What were their secrets?

New Orleans, Louisiana.
There are Seven Day Adventists in my community, city or country. Yes or no?

Nashville, Tennessee.
Are there many books, TV shows, experts and clubs devoted to health, fitness and wellness?

Denver, Colorado.
What might happen in the future?

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