The Sonoma County YMCA recently started a diabetes prevention program to improve health throughout the county.
The program, which is funded by a federal Community Transformation grant given to the county and allocated to the YMCA for the diabetes program, runs over a course of 18 months. It is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Diabetes Prevention Program. YMCAs across the United States are starting the program as part of a national effort to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood sugar with insulin resistance and deficiency. Type 2 diabetes is of particular concern in the U.S. as it accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in adults and is the seventh leading cause of death in the nation. Obesity is considered the primary cause of type 2 diabetes.
In the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health, 79 million Americans ages 20 and older have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be properly considered diabetes. Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to the CDC.
The YMCA program is based on the idea, as indicated by CDC and NIH studies, that by losing weight and increasing physical activity, the risk of people with prediabetes developing cases of type 2 diabetes is significantly lowered – with the development of diabetes either diverted or delayed.