November 2015

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program Offers Support to At-Risk Individuals

by Kristen Hogan,YMCA

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and as a leading community-based network committed to improving the nation’s health, the YMCA of the Capital Area is encouraging people in Baton Rouge to understand their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and take steps to prevent the disease.

According to the CDC, 79 million Americans age 20 and older are at risk for developing Diabetes. In Louisiana, approximately 181,000 individuals were reported to be at-risk for developing Diabetes, which is an increase of 10,000 individuals since 2009.
The YMCA is working hard to reduce this number and improve the lives of those who live in our community through the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about healthier eating and increasing their physical activity in order to reduce their risk for developing diabetes. The evidence-based program is delivered over a 12-month period with 16 weekly core sessions then monthly maintenance. There are two goals of the classroom-based program: reduce and maintain individual weight loss by at least seven percent and increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week.

Based on the national Diabetes Prevention Program study led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention program have been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

Just two years ago only two Ys offered this program. Today, 77 Ys in 33 states are offering it in their communities. The YMCA is committed to making the program available to everyone in the community. All individuals with a BMI over 24 and who have two additional risk factors or have been diagnosed with prediabetes are eligible.

If you are interested in knowing your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, please visit your local YMCA or visit us online at to complete a risk assessment.