YMCA of Central Ohio

March 24 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day

Tuesday, March 24, is American Diabetes Association Alert Day, and the YMCA of Central Ohio wants residents of Columbus to know their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as preventative steps they can take today to reduce the chances of developing the disease.

In the United States alone, 26 million people suffer from diabetes and 79 million people have prediabetes. These statistics are alarming, and the impact on the cost of health care and the overall well-being of our communities makes preventing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes more important than ever before.

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 only 11 percent 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 a preventable condition, 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.

As a leading voice on improving the nation’s health and well-being, the YMCA of Central Ohio encourages all adults learn their vulnerability for type 2 diabetes by taking a risk assessment at http://www.diabetes.org/risktest Sever.al factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include family history, age, weight and activity level, among others.

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:

• Eat fruits and vegetables every day.
• Choose fish, lean meats and poultry without skin.
• Aim for whole grains with every meal.
• Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.
• Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.
• Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history of the disease or are overweight. 

To learn more about the YMCA of Central Ohio’s Diabetes Prevention Program, please visit http://ymcacolumbus.org/diabetes or contact Caroline Rankin, director of chronic disease prevention programs, at 614-384-2281.