Do Adventists live longer because they treat their bodies as temples?


The Seventh-Day Adventists faith forbids alcohol, tobacco, and instructs plenty of exercise.

Studies show that Seventh-day Adventists, whose religion instructs them to treat their bodies as temples, live as much as a decade longer than the rest of us.

Seventh-Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California, have one of the highest rates of longevity in the world. This is why the city has been labeled as the only Blue Zone in America. Loma Linda, Spanish for “Beautiful hill,” is one of the four places in world to have a substantial proportion of its population live past 100 years.

Loma Linda has one of the largest concentrations of Seventh-day Adventists in the world. Third of the 22,000 residents are Seventh-day Adventists.

The church’s teachings emphasize taking care of one’s body and practically forbid the use of alcohol and tobacco. Many Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda and elsewhere are vegetarians. Their faith also instructs them to do plenty of exercise and seek a sense of purpose.

Seventh-day Adventists Daniel and Vicki Fontoura, and their three children, live in Loma Linda. Mr. Fontoura told the Los Angeles Times that “I don’t think we’re so bold as to say that the only way to have this eight to ten year advantage is to be an Adventist.” He, however, stressed that “we do view it as the core,” adding that “how people get there is up to them.”

According to the data collected from thousands of people over decades by the Loma Linda University, a 30-year-old Seventh-day Adventist man is likely to live more than seven years longer than the average white California man. For women, the difference was 4.4 years. The differences were greater for vegetarian Adventists.

Dan Buettner, founder of the Blue Zones organization, said that one of the explanations could be social environment. "If you ask most Adventists who their friends are, 80 or 90% are other Adventists. … You're less likely to engage in risky behavior because of your religion and more likely to be cared for when you're older."

Formally established in 1863, the Seventh-day Adventist church is ethnically and culturally diverse, and maintains a missionary presence in over 200 countries and territories. It’s one of the largest religious bodies in the world with over 18 million followers.


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