November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a time for all Michigan residents to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Currently, 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes but less than 16 percent know they have it. Since 2020, the Muskegon YMCA has served as the hub for the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (YDPP) for the entire state of Michigan.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 96 million adults have prediabetes which, without action, can develop into type 2 diabetes within 5 years. The Muskegon YMCA has offered the YDPP for over 6 years in order to proactively prevent people with prediabetes from developing type 2 diabetes. The program helps participants achieve moderate weight loss through healthier eating and increased physical activity, which has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58 percent overall and by 71 percent in adults over 60. Highly trained Lifestyle Coaches facilitate each session and place an emphasis on meeting participants where they are at and working with them to set achievable goals.
“YDPP has boosted and strengthened my lifestyle change,” claims one participant. “We were encouraged and supported to hold ourselves accountable every day. We built a commitment to make positive food choices and exercise regimens. On my most recent A1C test I was able to hit my target of 5.7!”
Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes by taking a simple 1-minute risk test at muskegonymca.org/dpp-quiz. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, the Muskegon YMCA was the only Y offering the YDPP in Michigan. The Muskegon Y was able to quickly pivot to a distance learning format, ensuring the program was still available to participants while at home. This shift broadened the horizons for the Y, as sessions could now be attended from any location. Partnerships with other Michigan YMCAs have been crucial for the expansion of the YDPP, as the Muskegon YMCA has been able to broaden the program’s reach and partner Ys are able to offer the YDPP as a benefit to their members. Along with the help of 14 partner YMCAs, the Muskegon Y has been able to deliver the YDPP to over 1,090 participants across the state. Funded by the CDC 1705 Expansion Grant through Trinity Health, the YDPP is offered at no cost.
Each month the Muskegon YMCA launches three new YDPP groups. Being experts in evidence-based healthcare and implementation, the Muskegon Y is enthusiastic about delivering the program for anyone who would like to participate. The Muskegon Y invites readers to learn how they can get involved and help spread the word. This could entail implementing the program for their employees, checking out the program themselves or recommending it to a loved one who may be at risk, becoming a program coach, or donating resources. Visit muskegonymca.org/ydpp for more information.