Diabetes Prevention

Tuesday, March 28, is American Diabetes Association Alert Day® and as the leading community-based network committed to improving the nation’s health, the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is encouraging our community to learn the risks of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and steps they can take to prevent the disease.


Did you know that 1 in 3 adult Americans is at high risk for diabetes?

That’s 86 million people!

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. This program helps those who have been diagnosed with prediabetes, or believe they may be at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious health condition that is marked by high glucose levels caused by abnormalities in the body’s ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. It can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, high blood pressure and blindness.

What is prediabetes?

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. It is a potentially reversible condition that often leads to type 2 diabetes unless steps are taken to prevent it.

How do I know if I have prediabetes or I’m at risk?

Determining whether a person is at high risk for developing diabetes can be accomplished in three ways:

  1. Doctor diagnosis of prediabetes
  2. Blood test with one of the following results:
    • Fasting plasma glucose between 100 and 125 mg/dL
    • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test between 140 and 199 mg/dL
    • HbA1c between 5.7 and 6.4 percent
    • Random/casual blood glucose between 140 and 199 mg/dL
  3. A combination of risk factors such as family history, level of physical activity, gestational diabetes, etc.

Who qualifies for the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program?

To qualify for the Diabetes Prevention Program, participants must be 18 or older, overweight/obese (having Body Mass Index greater than 25) and at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, or have been diagnosed with prediabetes. The program is open to all individuals through the Y regardless of their insurance status. YMCA membership not required.

Changing Behavior Takes Work

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is designed to help you adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle changes over the course of one year. It is not a an exercise or nutrition lecture series. Instead, it is a year-long program broken down into 16 one-hour weekly sessions followed by bi-weekly and monthly sessions. Each session is in a classroom setting where a trained lifestyle coach facilitates a small group of participants in learning about healthier eating, physical activity, how to stay motivated and other behavior changes.

Program Goals

  • Reduce body weight by 7%
  • Increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week

Take the next step and download our Intake Form, available for individuals or health care providers to fill out. Once complete, please send to:

Attn: Kristy Cook
40 East Adams St., Suite 210 | Jacksonville, FL 32202
You can also send the form by
Email: prevention@firstcoastymca.org
or Fax: 904.265.1786.

If you are a health care provider and would like to learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program, our Advocacy Committee, or how to receive materials for your practice, please contact Kristy Cook for more information.

Upcoming Diabetes Prevention Classes

Each session is in a classroom setting where a trained lifestyle coach facilitates a small group of participants in learning about healthier eating, physical activity and other behavior changes over the course of 16 one-hour sessions. After the initial 16 core sessions, participants meet bi-weekly then monthly for added support to help them maintain their progress throughout their first year.

Barco-Newton Family YMCA
Tuesday, April 13 at 5:30pm
Winston Family YMCA
Tuesday, May 16 at 5:30pm
Brooks Family YMCA
Tuesday, May 23 at 6:30pm
Williams Family YMCA
Tuesday, May 23 at 6pm

If you have any questions, would like more information, or to register for a class, please contact Kristy Cook at 904.265.1777.

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