YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program - Measurable Progress, Unlimited Support

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. Research by the National Institutes of Health has shown that programs like the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of Type 2 diabetes by 58%, and 71% in adults over the age of 60. 



Program Description

  • One-year program
      - 16 weekly sessions, 3 bi-weekly sessions, 6 monthly sessions
  • Small group, supportive environment
  • Classroom based
      - Can be offered in any community setting
  • Learn about healthier eating & increasing physical activity to reduce risk

Program Goals

  • Reduce body weight by 7%
  • Increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week

Who Qualifies?

  • Adults 18+
  • Overweight (BMI > 25)
  • At risk for or have been diagnosed with PREDIABETES
    Via a blood test with one of the following results:
               + Fasting plasma glucose between 100 - 125 mg/dL
               + 2-hour plasma glucose between 140 - 199 mg/dL
               + A1c between 5.7% and 6.4%
      - Or a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes
      - If a blood test is not available, a qualifying risk score based on a combination of risk
         factors - family history, age, etc.


The Financial Impact of Diabetes on the Workforce is Staggering. 

The Facts: In 2012, the American Diabetes Association reported that the total medical costs and lost work and wages for people diagnosed with diabetes is $245 billion. Direct medical costs come to $176 billion and indirect costs, such as disability, loss of productivity, and premature death, equal $69 billion.

These costs rose from $174 billion in 2007.

The Diabetes Risk: These costs could easily grow because 1 out of 4 Americans do not know they have the disease and 9 out of 10 have no idea they are at risk for the disease. 

  • 29.1 million Americans suffer from diabetes: 21 million are diagnosed and 8.1 million are undiagnosed.
  •  Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes, but 90% of them don't know it.
  • Without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15% to 30% will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.
  • Risk of death for adults with diabetes is 50% higher than for adults without diabetes.

Diabetes Prevention Programs are Making a Difference

The Facts: Peer-reviewed scientific research shows that lifestyle intervention programs like the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes each year. 

For example, a typical population of 100 high-risk people might expect the following results over three years: 

  • 15 new cases of type 2 diabetes may be prevented.
  • 162 lost work days may be prevented. 
  • 11 people may avoid the need for blood pressure or cholesterol drugs.
  • 20 years of good health may be added.
  • $91,400 in diabetes related health care costs may be avoided.



Research - If you are interested in reading more about the diabetes prevention program and the research behind the clinical trials, here is some more information. 



Click here to view the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program Fact Sheet and how the YMCA is making an impact across the United States in the prevention of Type II Diabetes. 

People are making lifestyle changes across the country, we can do the same in Spartanburg County! Read testimonials below from individuals who have successfully completed the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. 






I lived in Texas for over 30 years with no idea of what it meant to live a “healthy” lifestyle. My doctors never talked about weight or any chang-es I could make to improve my health. So, when I moved to Michigan and my new doctor says he’s concerned about what I eat and my life-style, I was shocked. My doctor told me that I was at risk for diabetes, and then he referred me to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

I was hesitant at first because I didn’t know what to expect, but the whole thing was great. It was a lot like going to school. I liked learning about portions, nutrition, and things I had never thought about before. Now, when I think about how I never used to eat any fruits or veggies, I shake my head. I lost over 15 percent of my body weight. I eat healthy and I walk a lot. This time, when I saw my doctor, he was shocked.






 The following excerpt is from Steve, a past participant in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program in Delaware. Here’s what he had to say…
“I thought since I have completed the program, you might be interested in some feedback.

The first thing I should say is that for me the program was life changing. I met my goals in terms of weight loss and activity; however the more important issue for me was coming to grips with the way I eat, the what I eat, and the why. The program setting (i.e., 12 other folks sharing their thoughts and struggles) was ideal; our coach was out-standing in her encouragement and enthusiasm (a real gem!); and the materials pretty straightforward. All in all, this program was a wonderful way to make changes in my life, changes that will no doubt make me healthier.

So, this was a wonderful program-I am not yet done but wanted you to get some positive feedback from an old guy.”




When I read a feature about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program in my employer’s newsletter, I had no idea I was destined to be one of its success stories. Prior to reading about the program, I never thought about diabetes. However, I was concerned about my weight and this realization led me to my company’s employee site to take the diabetes risk quiz. I was in fact at risk for diabetes.
Motivated by the support of my employer whose insurance covered the cost of the program, I joined the program at my local Y. I quickly be-came a leader in my group, meeting my 16-week, 7 percent weight loss goal in half the time. I went on to achieve 15 percent weight loss and as a bonus, my son lost 30 pounds because of our new lifestyle.
Today, I am happier, healthier, and more productive at home and at work.

Video Testimonials from other YMCA locations