Prediabetes and You, a Hidden Risk

Weight Loss and Diabetes Prevention programs help people better manage their health.

In the United States, diabetes affects more than 30 million people; another 84 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it. The nation’s struggle with obesity and type 2 diabetes is no surprise but the number of people with prediabetes is a growing issue, especially when so few people realize they have the condition. Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Often preventable, people with prediabetes can reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes by adopting behavior changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity. People with prediabetes are at risk for not only developing type 2 diabetes, but also cardiovascular disease, stroke and other conditions

Are you at Risk?

As the leading community-based network committed to improving the nation’s health the YMCA of Greater Brandywine encourages all adults to take a diabetes risk test. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include family history, age, weight and activity level, among others

“ADA Alert Day can serve as a wake-up call for people to learn their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes—conditions that are preventable if they take steps to improve their health,” said Lisa Arnold, Community Health Coordinator for the YMCA of Greater Brandywine. “Many people don’t realize they are at risk and finding out is not only good for your health, but good for your wallet too.”

Preventing Diabetes

The YMCA is helping people reduce their risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes through its Diabetes Prevention Program, which is a one-year program led by a trained lifestyle coach for individuals who are pre-diabetic. Over the year, participants attend 25 sessions. Typically, each group includes 8-12 participants.

Those enrolled in the program have seen significant success. Within six months, one dropped 40 pounds and another’s cholesterol level dropped 116 points. Another shared, “I went to Universal Studios with the family and was so large I could not fit on the roller coasters. It was pretty depressing, even embarrassing.” But just six months later this participant reported, “We just returned from Busch Gardens where the whole family—including me—rode every coaster in the park!"

Want to learn more? Contact Leonard Olu-Williams, Community Health Coordinator at 610-643-9622, ext. 2232.