For A Better Us

March 24, 2017

You Can’t Afford to Ignore This

In the United States alone, diabetes affects nearly 29 million people; another 86 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it.

These statistics are alarming, and the impact on the cost of health care makes preventing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes more important than ever before. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed more often in adults, and type 1 diabetes is diagnosed more often in children, but the rates of type 2 diabetes are increasing rapidly for both adults and children.

In 2012 alone, the American Diabetes Association estimates that diabetes cost the health care system $245 billion.

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.

Tuesday, March 28, is American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day®, and it’s important that you know your risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as preventive steps you can take today to reduce the chances of developing the disease.

As the leading community-based network committed to improving the nation’s health the First Coast YMCA 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.

“Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by making simple lifestyle changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity,” said Kristy Cook, Director of Healthy Living Innovations at the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. “Steps taken now to prevent developing diabetes not only makes good health sense; it makes good economic sense.”

The First Coast YMCA is helping people make healthier choices that can help reduce the risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes with YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program classes in April and May.

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:

  • Reduce portion sizes of the foods you eat that may be high in fat or calories.
  • Keep a food diary to increase awareness of eating patterns and behaviors.
  • Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.
  • Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.
  • Incorporate more activity in your day, like taking the stairs or parking farther away from your destination.
  • Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history of the disease or are overweight.

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In the United States alone, diabetes affects nearly 29 million people; another 86 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it. These statistics are alarming, and the impact on the cost of health care makes preventing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes more important than ever before. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed more often in adults, and type 1 diabetes is diagnosed more often in children, but the rates of type 2 diabetes are increasing rapidly for both adults and children. In 2012 alone, the American Diabetes Association estimates that diabetes cost the health care system $245 billion. 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,…


March 30, 2016

The Quiet Research that Led to a Resounding Success in Diabetes Prevention

More than 86 million people, including 22 million people 65 or older, have pre-diabetes, which increases their risk of heart disease, strokes or diabetes. As we’ve watched that number grow, it has somehow felt that despite billions of dollars of research and intervention, there’s little we can do. That feeling shifted last week when Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of health and human services, announced that Medicare was planning to pay for lifestyle interventions focusing on diet and physical activity to prevent Type 2 diabetes. It’s an example of small-scale research efforts into health services that have worked and that have expanded to reach more people.

Read more from The New York Times

When James joined the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program at the First Coast YMCA, he did it for his own health. What James didn’t know was how his participation would affect his family.

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Learn More: Diabetes Prevention at First Coast YMCA

More than 86 million people, including 22 million people 65 or older, have pre-diabetes, which increases their risk of heart disease, strokes or diabetes. As we’ve watched that number grow, it has somehow felt that despite billions of dollars of research and intervention, there’s little we can do. That feeling shifted last week when Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of health and human services, announced that Medicare was planning to pay for lifestyle interventions focusing on diet and physical activity to prevent Type 2 diabetes. It’s an example of small-scale research efforts into health services that have worked and that have expanded to reach more people. Read more from The New York Times When James joined the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program at the First Coast YMCA, he did it for his own health. What James didn’t know was how his participation would affect his family. Learn More: Diabetes Prevention at First Coast YMCA


November 5, 2015

Preventing Diabetes

More than 86 million people have prediabetes, a condition that puts them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, yet only 9 million people are aware they have this condition. To sustain a healthy lifestyle, it helps to know your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

At the Y, we support the health and well-being of people of every age and background with programs that help prevent chronic disease. One such program, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, helps people achieve a healthy weight, increase their physical activity and make healthier food choices to reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. More than 180 Ys across the country, including the First Coast YMCA, offer the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Ask your Y’s staff about this and other chronic disease prevention programs so you can lead a healthier, happier life.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and the Y recommends you and your family follow these healthy living tips from the American Diabetes Association to reduce the risk for chronic disease:

Start a Weight Loss Plan: Losing even a small amount of weight can make a difference. Start by setting realistic goals that work for you. To stay on target, keep a record of everything you eat and all of your physical activity.

Build Healthier Meals: Plan out your weekly meals to save time, money and stress. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains to your shopping list. Keep healthy staples like brown rice and whole grain pastas on hand for healthier meal options. Need more guidance or a grocery store tour? We have nutrition services available at all Ys on the First Coast.

Stay Active: Aim to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Add in strength training to build muscle and make bones stronger (with more muscle mass you burn more calories, even when you are at rest). You can join a Y fitness class or lift weights at home using weights or elastic resistance bands.

More than 86 million people have prediabetes, a condition that puts them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, yet only 9 million people are aware they have this condition. To sustain a healthy lifestyle, it helps to know your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. At the Y, we support the health and well-being of people of every age and background with programs that help prevent chronic disease. One such program, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, helps people achieve a healthy weight, increase their physical activity and make healthier food choices to reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. More than 180 Ys across the country, including the First Coast YMCA, offer the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Ask your Y’s staff about this and other chronic disease prevention programs so you can lead a healthier, happier life. November is Diabetes Awareness Month and the Y recommends you and your family follow…


Mission Statement: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.