Cleveland County YMCA


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Diabetes prevention Program

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a community-based lifestyle improvement program for adults with prediabetes. Participants gather in a relaxed classroom setting and work together in small groups to learn how to incorporate healthier eating and moderate physical activity into their daily lives. Its purpose is to empower adults with lasting lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health and reduce their chance of developing type 2 diabetes.


Research by the National Institutes of Health has shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58% overall and by 71% in individuals over age 60.



  • Lose 7% of your initial body weight.
  • Gradually increase your physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week.

Participants achieve these goals by learning strategies for:

  • Healthy Eating--eating smaller portions, reducing fat in your diet, and discovering healthier food options has been proven to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
  • Increasing Physical Activity--studies have repeatedly shown that moderate physical activity (such as walking, swimming, mowing the lawn) for as little as 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can help improve your blood pressure, raise your good cholesterol, and prevent blood flow problems.
  • Losing Weight--it has been shown that reducing your body weight by even a small amount (as little as 7%) can offer tremendous benefits for people at risk for diabetes.



There are several factors that determine of you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, including your age, family history, weight, and lifestyle. To qualify for the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, participants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be overweight (BMI ≥ 25; Asian adults BMI ≥ 22); and
  • Be at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes or have been diagnosed as having prediabetes



This 12-month, group-based program consists of 25 one-hour sessions. Sessions 1-16 meet weekly, sessions 17-19 meet every other week, and sessions 20-25 meet monthly. Each session is led by a trained Lifestyle Coach who facilitates a small group of participants with similar goals. Discussion topics include healthy eating, increasing physical activity, reducing stress, problem solving, and much more. Participants are able to stay motivated to maintain progress towards their goals with continues support and regular meetings.


For more information, contact the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program staff, or check out any of these additional resources.


Mark A. Pritchett,

Executive Director

(O) 704-669-3630

(F) 704-484-9622




Program Brochure

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See what the CDC has to say!

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What is Diabetes? What about Prediabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which your body causes blood glucose (sugar) to rise higher than normal. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. Initially, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for the insulin resistance. Over time, the pancreas cannot keep up and make enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels. 


Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as having diabetes.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been involved in extensive research on prediabetes and diabetes in the United States. Their findings suggest that this disease continues to be a growing issue for people of all ages and backgrounds:

  • -Diabetes affects over 29 million people in the United States, 8.1 million of which are undiagnosed.
  • -2012 studies estimate that 86 million American adults have prediabetes, an increase from 79 million in 2010.
  • -Less than 11% of those effected by prediabetes actually know it.
  • -People with prediabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless action is taken to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
  • -Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
  • -People with diabetes are between 2-4 times more likely to have a stroke and die from heart disease.
  • -Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people aged 20-74.
  • -People with diabetes are at greater risk for nerve damage, dental disease, lower limb amputation, depression, and complications during pregnancy.
  • -Medical expenses for people with diabetes are 2.3 times greater than those individuals without diabetes. By preventing diabetes, individuals can save up to $1,000 per month in health care costs. 


  • -North Carolina is ranked 13th highest nationally for adult diabetes prevalence  .
  • -Residents in Western North Carolina have a 12.6% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than other regions in the state.
  • -In Cleveland County, 12.2% of the population has diabetes and another 36.7% qualify as having prediabetes.
  • -In Rutherford County, 12.9% of the population has diabetes and another  38.8% qualify as having prediabetes.

The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led National Diabetes Prevention Program and is national supported by the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. People with health insurance provided by United Health Care should check with their employer about the availability of this program as a covered benefit, or contact the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance to confirm eligibility at 1-800-237-4942. The Cleveland County Family YMCA and the National Council of Young Men's Christian Association of the United States of America ("YMCA of the USA") have made a commitment to collaborate on efforts to support a national movement to increase awareness and take measures to prevent diabetes and its complications among groups at risk, and to help support treatment outcomes for individuals who have confirmed diagnoses or indications of prediabetes by promoting an effective lifestyle change. The parties referenced above do not warrant or guarantee any specific outcomes for program participants, with respect to diabetes prevention.