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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

As diabetes rates continue to rise, do you know your risk?

Cross posted from the YMCA of Greater Kansas City

During National Diabetes Awareness Month, the YMCA of Greater Kansas City is encouraging residents of Kansas City to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and to The Y urges people to take these 3 preventive steps to potentially reduce chances of developing the disease:

  1. Learn about prediabetes.

  2. Assess your risks.

  3. Make small changes to your lifestyle.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that more than one in three Americans (84 million people) has prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have the condition but with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

As one of the leading community-based charities committed to improving the health of Kansas City the Y wants members of our community to understand their risk for prediabetes and steps to take to avoid developing type 2 diabetes. Developing type 2 diabetes not only puts a tremendous strain on our health care system, but impacts the lives of millions of people and their families each year.

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 of Greater Kansas City is helping to improve the health of our community by offering programs including the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, the Y Weight Loss Program and multiple other programs and seminars designed to help you make small lifestyle changes that can help improve your health and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. Membership at the Y is not required to participate in many of these programs.

Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. Among these are:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables every day. A plant strong diet is a great way of reducing your risk.

  • Choose fish, lean meats and poultry without skin.

  • Aim for whole grains with every meal.

  • Be moderately active, getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

  • Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.

  • Sleep is an important part of your health and well being. Good sleep hygiene can help reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity.

  • Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight.

To learn more about the YMCA of Greater Kansas City’s Health and Wellness Programs, please contact Jessica Nickels ( or 816.285.8050).


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