The Garden Lounge

Know the Risks: November is National Diabetes Awareness Month | By Mary Beth Emmer

Kettle Moraine YMCA

Nov. 1, 2018 – West Bend, WI – November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a time for all Washington County residents to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Currently, of the 84 million people with prediabetes only 10 percent know they have the condition. In addition to the high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, people with prediabetes are also at risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.


Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. To address this issue, the Kettle Moraine YMCA offers the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps adults lose weight through healthier eating and increased physical activity, potentially preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes.


The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a group-based lifestyle intervention for adults at high-risk of developing type 2 diabetes and has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58 percent overall and by 71 percent in adults over 60.





Diabetes Prevention Program Participant’s Experience:


“The doctor was always talking to me about pre-diabetes; I thought it was no big deal, its border line.  Then a friend told me about the class at the Y and it includes a membership for a year, so I jumped in.  The more you hear about pre-diabetes the more you find out how bad it is.  The YMCA’s program breaks it down step by step.  It’s no secret just eat right and exercise!”

“Thanks for all your help!”

“At the Y, we take a community integrated approach to improving health, meaning we move health care out of the clinic and into the community where people can more easily access the care they need,” said Mary Beth Emmer, Wellness Director Kettle Moraine YMCA. “Currently much of our focus is on prevention programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program that provides a safe and supportive environment where people can learn to change behaviors and potentially decrease chances of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.”


Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at 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’s Diabetes Prevention Program, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led National Diabetes Prevention Program, is a 12-month evidence-based program that features a lifestyle coach who helps participants learn tactics for healthy eating, physical activity and other lifestyle changes during 25, one-hour classroom sessions. Long-term program goals include reducing participants’ body weight by 5 to 7 percent and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week.


Nationally, more than 62,000 people participated in the program at more than 1,100 sites in 40 states throughout the country. Participants who completed the yearlong program lost an average of 5.5 percent of body weight and completed an average of 160 minutes of physical activity per week.


For more information about how to qualify for access to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program contact Mary Beth Emmer at [email protected]/262-247-1050 or visit

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

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