YMCA encourages residents to learn diabetes risk

March 24 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day, and with millions of Americans at risk for pre- and type 2 diabetes, the Wilton Family YMCA urges residents of Wilton to learn their risk and take action to prevent the disease.
Currently, diabetes affects nearly 29 million people and another 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes, yet only about 9 million are aware of it.
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Several factors — including family history, age, weight, and physical activity level — can contribute to a person’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes. People can learn their risks by taking the diabetes risk test at ymca.net/diabetes.
“Chances are, each of us has a friend or family member with diabetes,” said Bob McDowell, executive director of the Wilton Family Y, “but it’s even more likely that we know someone with pre-diabetes who doesn’t even know he or she is at risk.”
Mr. McDowell said not only is Diabetes Alert Day “the perfect time to determine our own risk,” but it also encourages “our family and friends to determine their chances of developing the disease.”
“Studies show that people with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by making simple lifestyle changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity,” said Mr. McDowell.

Prevention program

For those at risk for diabetes, the next step is to make the necessary changes to help prevent the disease. Programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can help.
The year-long program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about behavior changes that can improve overall health.
The goal of the program is to help adults at risk for diabetes reduce their body weight by 5% to 7% and increase their physical activity to 150 minutes per week.
Studies have shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can prevent or delay new cases of type 2 diabetes in adults by 58% and by as much as 71% in those over age 60.
The program uses a curriculum approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program.
To learn more about the program, contact Mary Ann Genuario at 203-762-8384, ext. 282, or at magenuario@wiltonymca.org.
To learn more about the Wilton Family YMCA and how to get involved, visit wiltonymca.org.