NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH and a time for all in our community to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Following a year of reduced activity due to COVID-19, statistics show prediabetes rates are on the rise. Currently, 96 million American adults (more than 1 in 3) have prediabetes and 8 out of 10 of them do not know they have it. In addition to the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, people with prediabetes are also at risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.
Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. To address this issue, the YMCA of Greater Nashua offers the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps overweight adults achieve moderate weight loss through healthier eating and increased physical activity, potentially preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes.
The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a group-based lifestyle intervention for adults at high-risk of developing type 2 diabetes and has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58 percent overall and by 71 percent in adults over 60.
“We know that adults with diabetes do not live as long as those without it, and that their medical expenses are over 2 times greater than others,” said Kim Adie, the Y’s Director of Well-Being. “The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program provides a safe and supportive environment where people can learn to change behaviors and potentially decrease chances of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. You can have prediabetes for years and be totally unaware until serious health problems show up. If you’re at risk, talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested so you can know sooner.”
Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes by taking a simple 1-minute risk test at cdc.gov/prediabetes/takethetest. Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.
The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led National Diabetes Prevention Program, is a 12-month evidence-based program that features a lifestyle coach who helps participants learn tactics for healthy eating, physical activity and other lifestyle changes during 25, one-hour classroom sessions. Long-term program goals include reducing participants’ body weight by 5 to 7 percent and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week. The YMCA of Greater Nashua is expanding the availability of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (YMCA’s DPP) to eligible Medicare participants as a covered benefit.
Nationally, more than 70,000 people participated in the program at over 1,100 sites in 47 states throughout the country. Participants who completed the year-long program lost an average of 5.5 percent of body weight and completed an average of 168 minutes of physical activity per week.
For more information about how to qualify for access to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program contact Kim Adie at email@example.com or by phone at 603.882.2011 or visit www.nmymca.org/programs/healthy-living/.
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