A new class begins Saturday, Feb. 19 at the Providence YMCA/Ball Family Center at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21.
The 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.
“But what’s more concerning is that currently, 79 million have pre-diabetes but only 11 percent are aware of it. Knowing your risk for prediabetes is the key to taking control and reducing these statistics. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program empowers participants to make lasting lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health and reduce their chance of developing type 2 diabetes.”
The number of adults diagnosed with diabetes is above the national average in both Kansas and Missouri, with 8.5 percent of adults in Kansas and 8.7 percent of adults in Missouri diagnosed with diabetes in 2010. Diabetes affects 25.8 million people, or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population, based on the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and costs the U.S. an estimated $116 billion in direct medical expenses, according to the American Diabetes Association.
In Missouri alone, an additional 5.7 percent of adults were diagnosed with prediabetes or high blood sugar levels in 2010, placing them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a year-long program with 16 weekly sessions followed by 8 monthly sessions. In a relaxed classroom setting, a trained Lifestyle Coach helps participants learn skills that will help them incorporate healthy eating, more physical activity and other behavior changes into their everyday lives. The goals of the program are 7 percent weight loss and an increase in physical activity to 150 minutes per week.
To be eligible for this program, participants must be at least 18 years old with a Body Mass Index of 25 or greater and at risk for developing type 2 diabetes or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Youth under 18 and persons diagnosed with diabetes do not qualify.
The cost of the program may be covered by an individual’s health insurance plan, employers may offer it directly to employees as a benefit, or individuals may pay the program fees. As a nonprofit, the Y offers financial assistance to allow individuals without insurance coverage or other resources participate in this program.
The general cost of diabetes also is staggering. The CDC estimates that the total direct and indirect cost of diabetes in this country is $174 billion. Average medical expenses among people with diagnosed diabetes - and the cost of disability, work loss and premature mortality - are 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.
“This program is a proven success in other cities where Ys are offering it, and our community where diabetes and prediabetes is higher than the national averages can truly benefit from this innovative form of preventive intervention” said Velazquez. “It’s a non-threatening, supportive way for people at risk of developing diabetes to make real, life-sustaining changes.”
The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is supported by the CDC and the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, and other national organizations committed to preventing chronic disease.