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HICKORY — November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a time for North Carolina residents to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
More than 96 million adults in America have prediabetes, while eight in 10 people don’t know they have prediabetes. What’s more, in North Carolina, 166 adults develop diabetes each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The YMCA of Catawba Valley offers its Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to help people with prediabetes lose weight, increase their physical activity, and eat healthier through this CDC-approved curriculum and a supportive, small group led by trained YMCA staff. The program helps people potentially prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
The Y offers its Diabetes Prevention Program virtually statewide and in person at some North Carolina YMCAs to anyone eligible who has a physician referral.
Members of Medicaid insurers Carolina Complete Health and WellCare who qualify can participate in the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program for free.
“I learned in the YMCA DPP class that I am not alone in my health journey. The instructors lead by example and this program has changed my mindset,” according to a YMCA-CV DPP participant. “In the six months I have been in the program I have learned the building blocks to success. Through the help of the instructors/mentors anything is possible with hard work and determination. The next six months will only enhance the lessons I have learned to set new goals towards my future. This class is not a simple diet. It is a chance to prove to yourself that you can be healthy and reach goals you didn’t even think were possible.
“Within the first six months, I have reached my 7% class weight loss goal. I am down two sizes, lost 39 inches on my body and my BMI is down 4 points. I now work with a personal trainer each week and reach levels of exercise that I didn’t even know were possible at this age. I am no longer intimidated by any of the equipment in the gym. Each week I set new goals for myself with the lessons I have learned in the class.”
When people find out they are at risk for diabetes, it can be hard for them to know how to make the changes needed to improve their health, said Lala Kozischek, corporate health and wellness director.
“The Y’s program provides a supportive environment, easy-to-understand lessons, and consistency to help people with prediabetes improve their health and reduce their risk for developing diabetes and other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke,” Kozischek said. “Our participants form a bond with each other that helps them stay on track and helps them celebrate wins along the way as they improve their health.”
Kozischek noted that the Y offers additional evidence-based health programs, such as the LiveStrong at the Y and that some NC Medicaid insurers cover the cost of these programs for members who qualify.
For information about the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program and other health programs, visit
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