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YMCA to host diabetes prevention classes

YMCA of Rowan County

SALISBURY — Next Tuesday is American Diabetes Association Alert Day, and the YMCA of Rowan County plans to spend the day helping residents get to know their risk for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes, as well as teach preventive steps they can take to reduce the chances of developing the disease.

The YMCA is encouraging 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.

All three local YMCA facilities will also offer diabetes prevention classes to help people reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

“ADA Alert Day can serve as a wake-up call for people to learn their risk for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes — conditions that are preventable if they take steps to improve their health,” said Jamie Morgan, CEO of the YMCA. “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.”

In the United States alone, diabetes affects more than 30 million people. Another 84 million Americans have pre-diabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it.

The impact on the cost of health care — 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.

The 2013 CDC Atlas Report shows Rowan County ranked above the U.S. median with 11.2 percent of residents diagnosed with diabetes. Rowan County’s pre-diabetes rate is 33.6 percent.

The number of people with pre-diabetes is a growing issue — especially when so few people realize they have the condition. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which people have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

People with pre-diabetes can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by changing behavior, including eating healthier and increasing physical activity. People with pre-diabetes are at risk for not only developing Type 2 diabetes but also cardiovascular disease, stroke and other conditions.

The YMCA has been involved in diabetes prevention since 2005. As of March 2016, the program was offered in 223 YMCAs at more than 1,500 sites in 45 states. More than 43,000 overweight adults at risk for diabetes have participated in the program.

In the YMCA’s diabetes prevention program, a trained lifestyle coach facilitates a small group of adults to discuss behavior changes that can improve their health. The program consists of 25 one-hour sessions over the course of a year.

Program goals are for participants to lose 5 percent to 7 percent of body weight and gradually increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week. Participants learn the facts about healthy eating and being active; what makes it hard for people to eat healthy and be active; and how to change the barriers so they will work for the participant, not against them.

Session topics include counting fat; ways to eat less; reading labels and analyzing food choices; benefits of activity; empty calories; taking charge of your environment; problem-solving skills; healthy eating out; combating negative thoughts; dealing with challenges; managing stress; staying motivated; and planning for success..

For more information or to register for a class, contact Laurie Ward, YMCA program manager, at lward@rowanymca.org or 704-216-9622.

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