YMCA of Marquette Co. joins with CDC on Diabetes Prevention

April 25, 2012 – The YMCA of Marquette County has been awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, to help expand the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and help reduce the burden of chronic disease in communities across the nation.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes reduce their risk for developing the disease by taking steps that will improve their overall health and well-being.

The Marquette is one of ten YMCAs nationally who received the CDC funds to launch or expand the program in their community. YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for the nation’s 2,700 YMCAs, is working with CDC and other organizations to expand the program to as many communities as possible nationwide as part of CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program. The program will be available to community members in Marquette County beginning in June 2012.

“Providing support and opportunities that empower people to be healthy and live well is part of the YMCA’s charitable purpose,” said Jenna Zdunek, Health and Wellness Director of the Marquette County YMCA. “The lifestyle choices learned through the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program not only reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, but also create lifelong changes in the way that individuals approach health and well-being.”

“Current predictions are that by 2030, one in 3 Americans will have diabetes. One of the most important and modifiable risk factors for development of diabetes is obesity, which affects about one-third of local residents. Local public health is pleased to see this new program focused on diabetes prevention available in our community,” indicated Dr. Terry Frankovich, Medical Director Marquette County Health Department.

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 pre-diabetes.

“We now have proof that lifestyle interventions delivered through community-based organizations such as the Y can save lives and health care dollars,” said Zdunek.

The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about healthier eating, and increasing their physical activity in order to reduce their risk for developing diabetes. The evidence-based program is delivered over a 12-month period, with 16 weekly core sessions then monthly maintenance. It is classroom based and can be offered in any community setting.

“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, in Marquette County and across the nation,” said Zdunek. “With CDCs recent prediction of an increase in diabetes rates, it’s of the utmost importance that we do all we can to help the 79 million people in the United States who have pre-diabetes prevent the onset of the disease to live healthy, happy and more productive lives.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the program is asked to give Ms. Zdunek a call at 906-227-9622.