The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program improves lives

It may surprise you to learn that there are an estimated one million Kentuckians with prediabetes, which occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. Most commonly diagnosed through a fasting blood glucose or A1C test, prediabetes can also be diagnosed through a specific health risk assessment.

Disturbingly, only about 10 percent of individuals with prediabetes are aware of their condition. And, without intervention, 15 to 30 percent may develop Type 2 Diabetes within five years!

Before and after pictures of Chelsie.

Did you know that the Y is committed to helping these individuals reduce the risk and improve their quality of life?

In 2009, the YMCA of Greater Louisville partnered with Y-USA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to introduce the evidence-based YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) with a focus on lifestyle changes that prevent the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

YMCA DPP participants meet in small group settings, for one hour, with a trained lifestyle coach to learn healthier eating habits, how to increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week and reduce body weight by 7 percent.

National Institutes of Health research has shown that programs, like the YMCA’s DPP, can reduce the number of new cases of Type 2 Diabetes by 58 percent overall and by 71 percent in people over 60.

In addition to reducing health risks, there are societal benefits to eliminating the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. In 2012 alone, $245 billion of our nation’s health care costs were attributed to the management of Type 2 Diabetes; and the average medical cost for a person with diabetes is $13,700 per year.

Lifestyle change can be tough, but through the support of programs like the YMCA’s DPP, change is possible. Chelsie, one of the Y’s DPP participants says it best:

“First, I want to give all glory to God! I am so thankful for this opportunity. My weight loss journey started sitting at my…

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