YMCA encourages residents to learn risks, factors for developing diabetes


March 22 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day and with millions of Americans at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA urges residents of Volusia County to learn their risk and take action to prevent the disease. Currently, diabetes affects nearly 29 million people; another 86 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it.

Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Here in Volusia County an estimated 8 percent of the population is living with diabetes.

Understanding your risk is the first step in preventing diabetes. Several factors including family history, age, weight and physical activity level can contribute to developing type 2 diabetes. Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes by taking the diabetes risk test at ymca.net/diabetes.

“Diabetes Alert Day is the perfect time to not only determine our own risk for prediabetes, but also encourage our family and friends to determine their chances of developing the disease,” said Bev Johnson, executive vice president of Healthy Living, Volusia Flagler Family YMCA. “Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by making simple lifestyle changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity.”

Help is available
For those at risk for diabetes, the next step is to make the necessary changes to help prevent the disease.

Programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can help. Facilitated by a trained lifestyle coach, the yearlong program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about behavior changes that can improve overall health.

The goal of the program is to help adults at risk for diabetes reduce their body weight by 5 percent to 7 percent and increase their physical activity to 150 minutes per week. Studies have shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can prevent or delay new cases of type 2 diabetes in adults by 58 percent and by as much as 71 percent in those over age 60.

Over 100 have improved their health through the program at the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program uses a CDC-approved curriculum and is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. The program is available at more than 1,400 sites in 44 states.

To learn more, contact Randolyn Haley at 386-425-5210 or via email at rhaley@vfymca.org.


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