Diabetes prevention top priority

Michelle Graham

Did you know that Type II diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases among Americans?

According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 60 million Americans have pre-diabetes. We know that people with this condition are at an increased risk to other diseases as well, such as cardiovascular disease and other obesity-related illnesses. Because obesity has reached pandemic proportions, Type II diabetes is also on the rise.

There has been a lot of research surrounding diabetes prevention. It has become a major focus in the health care industry and some insurance companies are beginning to pay for programs that help curb the risk for diabetes.

  •     Are you at risk for Type II diabetes?  If you answer “yes” to three or more of the following questions, provided by the New York State Health Foundation, you may want to follow-up with your medical care provider for further testing.
  •  Is your blood pressure 140/90 or higher and have been told that you have high blood pressure?
  • Have you been told that your cholesterol levels are not normal?
  • Are you inactive?
  • Have you been told that you have pre-diabetes?
  • Does a parent or sibling or other close relative have diabetes?
  • Did you have gestational diabetes?
  • Do you have a body mass index of 25 or greater?
  • Are you 45 years of age or older?

If you find out that you have pre-diabetes and are willing to make some changes, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention program may be the right choice for you.

For the past two years, the YMCA has become greatly involved in reaching those individuals at risk for Type II diabetes through the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, which is a 16-week lifestyle change program with healthy eating and increasing physical activity, being the core of the program. The YMCA has run this program successfully and participated in further research to prove how impactful prevention programs can be in changing long-term outcomes with the at-risk population.

To get involved with the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program or for further information contact myself or Steve Rowell at the Downtown YMCA, 782-3100.
Michelle L. Graham, MS, is wellness director for Watertown’s Downtown YMCA. Contact her at ymca_mgraham@yahoo.com.