YMCA of Columbia Focuses on Prevention During Diabetes Prevention Month

As the prediabetes rate continues to rise, few Midlands residents know they are at risk

During National Diabetes Awareness Month, the YMCA of Columbia is encouraging residents in the Midlands to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease.

Statistics for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that one in four Americans (86 million people) have prediabetes, up from 79 million in 2010. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it but with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.

“The number of new people with prediabetes continues to rise and with that the importance of helping residents in and around Columbia understand what a prediabetes diagnosis means,” said MJ Peirce, Vice President of Healthy Living for the YMCA of Columbia. “Type 2 diabetes affects not just the person but entire families as well, but the good news is that it is possible to reverse course—simple lifestyle changes reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and the Y can help people make the necessary changes to improve health.”

YMCA of Columbia is helping to improve health through the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, an evidence-based program shown to reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes – one of the nation’s costliest chronic diseases.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a group-based lifestyle intervention for adults at high risk for 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. It is a yearlong program with 16 weekly sessions followed by 8 monthly sessions. In a relaxed classroom setting, a trained Lifestyle Coach helps participants learn skills to help them incorporate healthy eating, increase physical activity, and make other behavior changes a part of their everyday lives.

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at YMCA.net/diabetes. 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.

To learn more about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, please contact Andrea Ward at andreaward@columbiaymca.org or 803.748.9622 ext. 130.

About the YMCA of Columbia

Over the past century and a half, the YMCA of Columbia has been a community-transforming institution, not only in the Midlands, but also in the entire United States. The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Regardless of age, income or background – the Y works to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. Please visit www.columbiaymca.org for more information.

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