"Our credibility as a Blue Zone region is linked to maintaining longevity."
Mayor Rhodes Rigsby said: "We're not approving a McDonald's - we're approving a business that any restaurant could occupy."
The move to approve McDonald's in Loma Linda comes as the fast food chain is increasingly squeezed by legislation in California.
Earlier this month they were accused of bypassing a new law aimed at stopping free toy giveaways with unhealthy children's meals, by charging 10 cents instead.
The law, which was imposed by the city of San Francisco in November, requires that food meet certain nutritional standards before it can be promoted with free toys.
San Francisco is the first major US city to target the fast food industry in such a way as it attempts to tackle childhood obesity.