November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a time for all New Jersey residents to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Currently, of the 84 million people with prediabetes only 10 percent know they have the condition. In addition to the high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, people with prediabetes are also at risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

On Thursday, Nov. 14, the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA, (1340 Martine Ave., Scotch Plains), will recognize "World Diabetes Day." Open to the community, the Y will offer screenings and educational information in their lobby, along with a cooking demonstration in the Y’s Board Room at 12:15 p.m. with registered dietitian Donna Peart. All YMCA guests must bring a valid, government-issued photo ID to enter the building. For more information on World Diabetes Day, please contact Donna Peart at dpeart@fspymca.org.

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On World Diabetes Day, the Y also will be providing information on two of its signature programs to prevent and manage diabetes. For those with prediabetes - a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis - the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA offers the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps adults lose weight through healthier eating and increased physical activity, potentially preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a group-based lifestyle intervention for adults at high-risk of developing type 2 diabetes and has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58% overall and by 71% in adults over 60.

The Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA also offers the Diabetes Self-Management Program for those who have already been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. This program helps them manage the disease through lifestyle changes, including healthy eating, exercise, developing goals and problem solving, as well as through group support.

“At the Y, we take a community integrated approach to improving health, meaning we move health care out of the clinic and into the community where people can more easily access the care they need,” said Sheri Cognetti, Senior Program Director at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA. “Currently much of our focus is on prevention and management programs that provide a safe and supportive environment where people can learn to change behaviors and potentially decrease chances of developing type 2 diabetes or effectively managing the disease.”

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at YMCA.net/diabetes. 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.

For more information about how to qualify for access to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program or the Diabetes Self-Management Program, contact Donna Peart at dpeart@fspymca.org or 908-889-8880.

The Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the individuals, families and communities it serves through programs and services that build wholeness of spirit, mind and body. The YMCA is a not-for-profit organization founded on Christian principles, serving people of all ages, races, faith, cultures and socio-economic conditions. For information on membership or programs, or to request a schedule of classes, please call the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA at (908) 889-8880 or visit https://fspymca.org. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.