By Renée M. Quinn, Community Relations Director
25.8 million people are affected by diabetes according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), but this number can decrease because of opportunities like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Together, the Y and CDC are expanding program offerings across 35 states and 86 Ys.
The one year program runs for 16 weekly sessions then monthly as a small group in a supportive environment. Goals of the group are to reduce body weight by 7%, increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week, and learn how to reduce risks for becoming diabetic.
Through a grant from the CDC, the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties is offering 30 scholarships to anyone that qualifies: 18 years or older, are overweight (BMI>25), are at risk for or have been diagnosed with prediabetes. Participants must register by September 29 and do not need to be a Y member.
“After a lifetime of trying weight loss programs, YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program was my success,” said Ellen Flanagan (left), program participant. “Thanks to the guidance and support of the group, I was able to make meaningful changes in my thinking, eating, and exercise habits.”
Research by the National Institutes of Health has shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58%, and 71% in adults over the age of 60.