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Boreal Community Media

Cook County YMCA offers diabetes prevention program

May 23, 2017 10:36AM ● By Editor

From Staff Reports at The Cook County News Herald

The Cook County Community 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.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that more than one in three Americans (86 million people) have prediabetes, up from 79 million in 2010. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it but with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.

“As one of the leading community-based charities committed to building a community of integrated health across the country, the Y wants residents of Cook County to understand their risk for prediabetes and steps they can take to prevent developing Type 2 diabetes,” said Emily Marshall, branch executive director of the YMCA. “Rising diabetes rates cost the nation $245 billion annually for a disease that is preventable with simple lifestyle changes like eating better and getting more physical activity.”

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.

The YMCA is helping to improve health through their year-long diabetes prevention program. Two cohorts will begin in June. One class will be held at Birch Grove Community Center at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesdays, right before senior lunch. Robin Nicholson will be the lifestyle coach leading that cohort. On Tuesdays, Brenda Miller will be leading an evening option at 5:15 p.m. at the YMCA in Grand Marais. Free childcare is available on-site for those participating in the evening class. The fee for the class is $100 for Y Members and $200 for the community. Full scholarships are also available for income eligible participants. Classes will begin the week of June 5. Attend a “session zero” the week before at the regular class time and location to learn more about the program or to register. Registration is also available online at, in person at the YMCA, or by phone at 218-387-3386. 

What can you do to help prevent diabetes?

Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living can decrease the risk for Type 2 diabetes. Among these are: 

  • Eat fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Choose fish, lean meats an poultry without skin.
  • Aim for whole grains with every meal.
  • Be moderately active, getting at least
  • 150 minutes of physical activity each 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.
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