Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

Project Title

Implementing the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program Across New York

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

Date Awarded

April 1, 2010


Capital Region





According to the American Diabetes Association, prediabetes puts people at a higher risk for developing diabetes, but with timely interventions diabetes can be significantly delayed, and in some cases, prevented.

A healthy lifestyle change can lower the risks of developing diabetes. This grant supported the start-up phase of a YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. The goal of the initiative was to create and sustain a statewide infrastructure for addressing pre-diabetes, a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

The YMCA replicated a program that was piloted and tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that has been shown to reduce the risk of adults with pre-diabetes from developing diabetes by 58%, and by 71% for adults over the age of 60. Researchers at Indiana University piloted and evaluated the YMCA program, and found it to be as effective as the CDC-funded diabetes program.

The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program is a 16-week, community-based program conducted by trained YMCA staff to teach people how to modify their eating and physical activity habits, and to sustain those changes over time. At the program’s completion, participants are encouraged to participate in a weekly maintenance program for up to one year. The YMCA replicated the program in 10 New York regions (click here for the full list), and sought third-party reimbursement and financing from employers to sustain the program and support its expansion to additional regions and YMCA locations.

New Yorkers at High Risk for Diabetes Find Help from YMCA Program

As one of the more than 4 million New Yorkers with prediabetes, Donald had suffered from a host of serious health problems, including high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. A diabetes prevention program offered by YMCAs across the State has helped Donald and other participants reduce their risk developing the disease by 50% and improve their health and wellbeing. Learn more.