The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention program is a community-based lifestyle improvement program for adults with prediabetes.  Its purpose is to empower adults with lasting lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health and reduce their chance of developing type-2 diabetes.

Diabetes affects nearly 26 million people.  Another 86 million have prediabetes and are at risk of developing diabetes, but fewer than 10 percent are aware of it.  Research by the National Institutes of Health shows that programs like the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention program reduce the number of news cases of diabetes by 58 percent.

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People with prediabetes have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. An estimated 86-million (up from 79-million in 2010) adults in the U.S. has prediabetes, yet just 7 percent of these individuals are aware of it.

The program is a part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention's National Diabetes Prevention Program. It's based on the National Institutes of Health-led, CDC-supported, Diabetes Prevention Program study that showed that losing a moderate amount of weight and increasing physical activity reduces the number of cases of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

According to the March 2017 edition of Health Affairs, "Based on literature regarding the clinical trial of the CDC's Diabetes Prevention Program and follow-up studies showing that the lifestyle intervention has a long-term effect on diabetes incidence, beneficiaries may experience greater longevity and quality of life as a result of the Y model-- further increasing the return on investment in it."

Individuals who participate in the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program take part in a year-long program beginning with 16 one-hour classroom sessions with a trained lifestyle coach who helps them learn about healthy eating, physical activity and other lifestyle changes.

Following these sessions, participants meet monthly for added support in reaching their ultimate goals of reducing body weight by 5-7 percent and participating in 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

For more information and class schedules contact our enrollment line at 727.379.2473 or email. Many insurance providers, including Florida Blue, and United Healthcare offer this program as a covered benefit for anyone who has been diagnosed as having prediabetes or who is at a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

The YMCA of the Suncoast is helping our community cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. More than 200 Y's in 47 states offer this program. 

Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. Among these are:

• Eat fruits and vegetables every day.

• Choose fish, lean meats and poultry without skin.

• Aim for whole grains with every meal.

• Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.

• Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.

• Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight.