What We’re Reading: National Diabetes Prevention Program

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently conducted a study called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The DPP showed that modest weight loss through dietary changes and exercise decreased the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58% in those with prediabetes.

As a direct result, the CDC and UnitedHealth Group (a for-profit provider of health insurance and other services) has collaborated with the YMCA to create programs in major metropolitan areas based on the original DPP’s lifestyle intervention. In late March 2011, the YMCA of Greater New York announced the expansion of the program in New York City to make it available to all New Yorkers who qualify.

The program, called YDPP, starts with a 16-session class in which trained coaches help groups of 8–15 participants increase their physical activity, eat more healthfully, and make other positive lifestyle changes. Following the initial 16 sessions, participants meet monthly for added support to help them maintain their progress. The program is offered at a low cost for anyone who wishes to participate, and financial assistance is also available through the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. In addition, the YMCA of Greater New York has pledged that no one with a referral from a health-care professional will be turned away from the program. YMCAs in many smaller cities are also rolling out new or expanded YDPP programs in 2011. To find out if your community YMCA has or plans to start a diabetes prevention program as part of the NDPP effort, call your local YMCA. Class fees vary by locality.

This blog entry was written by Web Intern Helen Zhu.

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