Know the Risks: November is National Diabetes Awareness Month
Greater Danbury and New Milford Communities– November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a time for all adult residents to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Currently, of the 84 million people with prediabetes only 10 percent know they have the condition. In addition to the high 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 diabetes diagnosis. To address this issue, the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut offers the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps adults lose weight through healthier eating and increased physical activity, potentially preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. The Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut has the distinction of being a CDC-fully recognized Diabetes Prevention Program by achieving all of the required performance criteria that demonstrate effective program results.
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.
Jean Hyer, a Danbury resident recently completed the YMCA DPP Program. She attributes her success of 9% weight loss to learning about portion control, greater awareness of food choices and challenging herself to be physically active. Jean found walking was great exercise and easy to do every day. Now she walks to places where before she only drove. Jean shares that… “the program is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.” She and her physician are both happy with her success.
“Our program participants say the safe and supportive environment helped them change lifestyle behaviors that resulted in weight loss and improved their blood glucose and A1C numbers.” said Maureen Farrell, Director of Community Wellness, Regional YMCA of Western CT. “Participating in a program is easy; we currently offer classes in community settings in towns throughout Western CT. We are currently filling classes for an evening program in New Milford, daytime program in Danbury, evening program in Brookfield and multiple classes in Newtown. Please call us for details.” -Lisa O’Connor, YMCA DPP Program Coordinator at the Regional YMCA.
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. 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.
Nationally, more than 62,000 people participated in the program at more than 1,100 sites in 40 states throughout the country. Participants who completed the yearlong program lost an average of 5.5 percent of body weight and completed an average of 160 minutes of physical activity per week.
For more information about how to qualify for access to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program contact Lisa O’Connor, YMCA DPP Program Coordinator or visit www.regionalymca.org or call her at (203) 775-4444 ext. 135