YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program helps people lower risk of type 2 diabetes

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Carrie Schuster was close to 400 pounds in the fall of 2013.

“I was starting to feel a little bit disabled by my weight and frankly, it kind of made me a little afraid,” Schuster said.

She was at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Based on a recommendation from her health care provider, she decided to sign up for the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

“It's a total of 25 sessions for the program. It starts out one a week for 16 weeks then it goes every other week for three sessions, and then once a month for the duration of the program,” she said.

People who sign up get guidance on creating a healthy diet and motivation to increase physical activity, keys for lowering one of the risk factors, which is having a BMI greater than 25.

“The study that the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is based on showed that losing 5 percent of a person's body weight will lower their risk for developing type 2 diabetes between 58 and 71 percent,” she said.

Schuster stuck with the plan and she lost a little more than 70 pounds during her first year on the program -- lowering her overall risks for developing type 2 diabetes.

Her experience is why she’s now a program coordinator and helping others on their journey.

She recommends visiting a doctor or going to a community health screening to know your numbers.

“If they know that they’re prediabetic, there are things they can do to change that.”

It’s estimated one in three North Carolinians may have prediabetes.

YMCAs are currently registering for the January 2018 program.

Participants must demonstrate that they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes before being accepted into the program.

There is also a fee associated with the program, but scholarships are available as needed.

For more information on the program, where it’s being offered in the Northwest North Carolina branch, and details on how to register visit ymcanwnc.org.

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