According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is a public health issue because the disease and its complications are largely preventable. Diabetes prevalence continues to grow, increasing by almost 5% each year. 9.6% of Indiana adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, with the national average at 8.3%. Hoosiers have a rate of undiagnosed diabetes of 4%; more than 714,000 Hoosier have diabetes.
The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is based on the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in collaboration with CDC, which showed that lifestyle changes and modest weight reduction can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent among those with prediabetes.
“We can change the course of diabetes in America by preventing the disease in those at highest risk,” says Dr. Ann Albright, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “CDC’s partnership with the Y is improving access to evidence-based programs that we know will help people make healthier lifestyle choices that can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.”
Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine were able to replicate the successful results of the national DPP with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. Unlike the national DPP research study, which was conducted with individuals one-on-one, the YMCA’s program is conducted in a group setting.
The research by the Indiana University researchers also demonstrated that the YMCA could effectively deliver a group-based lifestyle intervention for about 75 percent less than the cost of the original Diabetes Prevention Program. This research also highlighted the ability of the Y to take the program to scale nationally.
The goals of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program are to reduce and maintain individual weight loss by at least 7 percent and to increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week.
The partnership between the YMCA and the CDC stands to reduce the burden of diabetes, one of the nation’s costliest diseases across the nation.