The Y Encourages Residents to Increase their Diabetes IQ during National Diabetes Awareness Month


One in three Americans has prediabetes, yet few realize they are at risk

LIVINGSTON, NJ – November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the YMCA is encouraging residents to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease.  

Currently, one in three Americans (79 million people) has prediabetes, a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 11 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it. With awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease. 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.

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“As a leading voice on improving the nation’s health and well-being, the Y wants residents to understand their risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes,” said Helen Flores, Executive Director, West Essex YMCA. “Oftentimes, understanding that a person is at risk is the first step to making the necessary changes needed to live better, healthier lives.”

The West Essex YMCA, a branch of the Metropolitan YMCAs of the Oranges is helping to improve health and well-being through the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.


Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living that 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 or are overweight.  


To learn more about the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges’ Diabetes Prevention Program, please contact Elizabeth Youngstein at 973-595-0100 or


About The Y

The Y is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being while providing opportunities to give back and support the community.

Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is a cause-driven organization of six branches located in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne providing:

  • Quality all-day and after-school child care, pre-school classes, recreational and enrichment programs including swimming, sports, arts, computer activities and day and sleep-away camps;

  • Teen programs that help build self-esteem and leadership skills;

  • Wellness programs for adults and seniors.

The Metro YMCA of the Oranges is the largest YMCA association in New Jersey serving more than 35,000 individuals and providing more than $1.2 million in financial assistance to families for child care, YMCA memberships, summer camps, youth sports and teen after-school programs. The Metro YMCA’s mission is to strengthen community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.


The YMCA column is meant to highlight special events, new programs, community collaborations and the occassional mission story.  Mission stories will involve any YMCA mission-related achievements, like member profiles.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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