Roughly 79 million Americans are considered pre-diabetic, but only 11 percent of those at risk actually know it.
"It's actually the people that are on the brink of developing it, which can be based on blood glucose levels, just being a little bit overweight can be a risk factor, if you have family history of it. Or females, who maybe had gestational diabetes, they're at risk for developing Type II. The problem is a lack of education. People don't realize that they're pre-diabetic or don't realize that they're at risk," said Wellness Director Jenny Beadle.
Next month, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program will launch in Nashville. It's a year-long program that aims to help people make lifestyle changes that will reduce their risk for diabetes.
"The goal of the program is to lose 7 percent of our body weight and to work up to doing 150 minutes of physical activity per week," Beadle said.
Beadle said the program has been used in other cities for several years. All the work will be done in small groups so participants can hold one another accountable.
Organizers want to stress that this is not a program for someone who has already been diagnosed, it's for those at risk.
"The main warning sign or risk factor would be being overweight or being obese. If your BMI is 25 or higher, then you're definitely at risk for developing diabetes," Beadle said.
There's an informational meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the downtown YMCA on Church Street. Another informational meeting will be held at the Franklin YMCA on Royal Oaks Boulevard at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22.
A pre-screening event will be held at the downtown YMCA on Monday, Aug. 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees will be able to find out if they're eligible for the program and get a free health screening.
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