Rye YMCA Encourages Sound Shore Residents to Understand the Risks of Type 2 Diabetes on Diabetes Alert Day

[Rye, March 20, 2013] March 26 is Diabetes Alert Day. With 26 million people suffering from diabetes and 79 million people living with prediabetes, the Rye YMCA is urging all adults to learn their risks and take action to prevent the disease.

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. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

In Westchester County, 7.7% of adults are living with diabetes.  Over 58% of the county’s adults are overweight or obese, which puts them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

“Diabetes Alert Day is a reminder to all members of our community to find out if they are at risk for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes and the options available to stave off the disease,” said Rye Y Executive Director Gregg Howells.  “The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can teach adults who are at high risk how to change their lifestyle, not only to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes but also improve their overall health and well-being.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a lifestyle change program designed for adults at high-risk for developing diabetes. The year-long program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about eating healthier and increasing their physical activity.  Individuals who participate in the program take part in 16 weekly core sessions with a trained Lifestyle Coach. Following these sessions, participants meet monthly for up to a year of maintenance for added support in reaching their ultimate goals of reducing body weight by 7 percent and participating in 150 minutes of physical activity every week.

Programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program show that losing a moderate amount of weight and increasing physical activity reduced the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people with prediabetes – 71 percent among people age 60 and older.

In 2011 the Rye Y was selected by YMCA of the USA to provide the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to Rye, NY.  Since September 2011, 36 individuals have enrolled in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program at the Rye Y, which has offered 5 classes to date.  In addition to tracking participant weight and physical activity, the Rye Y has gone beyond the scale to find out how the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program has impacted people’s health and well-being.

Over 20 participants were surveyed after completing the 16 core program sessions.  These participants largely reported experiencing improvements in their health-related habits and behaviors during the life of the program.  87.5% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they increased their physical activity since completing the program.  83.3% of participantsagreed or strongly agreed that they reduced their portion sizes since completing the program.

larryRye resident Lawrence J. DeLorenzo, who recently completed the 16 weekly core sessions, remarked “We have a lot of camaraderie in the class. We meet once a week which works out great for motivation. Each week we get more education, more feedback and more positive forces to help us.  I’ve changed my eating habits, I’ve changed my thoughts about food and I’ve picked up a new exercise routine – I now walk all the time.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program and is available at 77 Ys in 33 states and the District of Columbia.  To learn more about the Rye YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program or the Y’s other healthy living programs, please contact Tanya Stack at 914-967-6363, ext. 206 or tanya@ryeymca.org.