YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and November 15 is World Diabetes Day. Following a year of reduced activity due to the pandemic, statistics show prediabetes rates are on the rise. Currently, 88 million American adults (more than 1 in 3) have prediabetes but less than 16 percent know they have it.

Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. In addition to the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, people with prediabetes are also at risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease or stroke.

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes by taking a simple 1-minute risk test at cdc.gov/prediabetes/takethetest. While this assessment can’t determine whether a person has prediabetes, it can help visitors learn about lifestyle choices and family history so they can 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.

Because research has shown that modest weight loss and regular, moderate physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among adults at risk, The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City is committed to helping our community make healthier lifestyle choices.  

Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. Some of the changes include:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables every day.
  • 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 to drink water instead of beverages with added sugar.

If you find yourself at risk, a diabetes screening by a physician can confirm a diagnosis. Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history of diabetes or are overweight. Medicare and commercial insurances may cover a diabetes screening.

Written by Laura Wolf, lwolf@ymcaokc.org