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Diabetes prevention leads to a healthier future | Bremerton Family YMCA

An estimated one in three adults in the U.S. has prediabetes, yet just 7 percent of these 79 million individuals know they have it. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the Bremerton Family YMCA is helping residents of Bremerton cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes through an innovative program that teaches people to make lifestyle changes that lead to greater health. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps people lose 5 percent to 7 percent of body weight through healthier eating and increased physical activity, and can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

“Even though I had been exercising, my weight was at an all-time high, I was eating too many sweets, and one of my parents had just been diagnosed with kidney problems. After a lifetime of trying various weight loss programs, the Diabetes Prevention Program was my success story,” said program participant Ellen Flanagan. “I learned how to pair healthy eating with the correct amount of exercise. Thanks to the guidance of the group leaders and the support of the group members, I was able to make meaningful changes in my thinking, eating, and exercise habits.”

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

“Through the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, we are helping people in Pierce and Kitsap counties make lifestyle changes that can help avoid developing type 2 diabetes other chronic diseases,” said Bob Ecklund, president and CEO of the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties. “The Y is a leading nonprofit dedicated to improving the nation’s health and well-being, and the prevention of type 2 diabetes not only benefits the individual, but our community at large.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is supported nationally by the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is available at 74 YMCAs in 31 states. Visit http://ymca.net/diabetes-prevention for more information.

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