READINGTON, NJ - The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults make lasting lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health and reduce their chance of developing type 2 diabetes – one of the nation’s costliest chronic diseases.

The Hunterdon YMCA will offer the innovative program, which is a group-based lifestyle intervention for adults at high risk of developing the disease. It has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58 percent overall and by 71 percent in adults over 60. 

The program will be available beginning Wednesday, Nov. 30. Weekly classes will be held Wednesdays at noon at the Deer Path Branch, 144 West Woodschurch Road, Flemington.

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“The CDC reports that in 2010 one in ten US adults had diabetes and, if trends continue, as many as one in three US adults could have diabetes by the year 2050. This is staggering,” said Teri Saccal, the Y’s Director of Healthy Living. “But what’s more staggering is that currently, 86 million people have prediabetes but only 10 percent are aware of it. Knowing your risk for prediabetes is the key to taking control and reducing these statistics. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program empowers participants to make lasting lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health and reduce their chance of developing type 2 diabetes.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention helps people reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes by helping them learn about eating healthier, increasing physical activity and other behavior changes. It's based on the National Institutes of Health-led, CDC supported, Diabetes Prevention Program study that showed programs that help people lose 5 to 7 percent of body weight through healthier eating and increased physical activity can reduce the number of cases of diabetes. The curriculum is approved by the CDC and part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

The program includes 16 one-hour classroom sessions followed by regular maintenance sessions. In a relaxed setting, a trained Lifestyle Coach helps participants learn strategies that will help them incorporate healthy eating, increasing physical activity and other lifestyle changes into their everyday lives. 

After the initial 16 sessions, participants meet monthly for up to a year for added support to help them maintain their progress with the ultimate goal. The goal is for participants to lose 7 percent of their body weight and increase their physical activity to 150 minutes per week.

The program is open to all and YMCA membership is not required. To be eligible, participants must be at least 18 years old with a BMI of 25 or greater and at risk for developing type 2 diabetes or have been diagnosed with prediabetes.

To learn more about the Hunterdon County YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and other Healthy Living Programs, call Teri Saccal at 908-483-4933 or email tsaccal@hcymca.org.