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prediabetes risks

Prediabetes and You, a Hidden Risk

Tuesday, March 27, is American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day®, and the Harrisburg Area YMCA wants residents of Central PA to know their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as preventive steps they can take today to reduce the chances of developing the disease.

In the United States alone, diabetes affects over 30 million people; another 84 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it. These statistics are alarming, and the impact on the cost of healthcare (in 2012 alone, the ADA estimates that diabetes cost the health care system $245 billion) makes preventing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes more important than ever before.

A National Struggle

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 of 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.

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

prediabetes – Prediabetes and You, a Hidden Risk“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 Susan Jacobs, Executive Director of the YMCA Center For Healthy Living. “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.”

The Harrisburg Area YMCA is helping people potentially reduce the risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes by utilizing the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. At our West Shore branch,  two participants completed the 11-month journey that helped them modify their behavioral lifestyles. Together, they made great strides in reducing calories and fat grams while increasing their daily exercise. They have both successfully lost more than 7% of their body weight through the program.

Lifestyle Changes

Some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and an increased focus on healthy living can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. Among these are:

To learn more about the Harrisburg Area YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, please visit our webpage or contact Susan Jacobs at Susan.Jacobs@ymcaharrisburg.

–Madeline Kelly, Digital Communications Coordinator, and Y-USA

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