Prediabetes: Waynesboro’s hidden health challenge

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the Waynesboro Family YMCA wants residents of Waynesboro and Augusta County to be aware of their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes – and preventative steps they can take today to reduce that risk. Currently, nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and a staggering 79 million people have prediabetes, a condition where blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.

While the nation’s struggle with obesity and type 2 diabetes is well-chronicled, the amount of people with prediabetes is a growing and often underreported issue that can be prevented with changes in eating and physical activity habits. People with prediabetes are at risk for not only developing type 2 diabetes, but cardiovascular diseases, stroke and other conditions.

“Learning that you have prediabetes does not necessarily mean you will develop type 2 diabetes, in fact it’s the first step in preventing type 2 diabetes through changes in healthier eating and weight bearing exercises,” said Mary Beth Robb, fitness team leader at the Waynesboro Family YMCA. “You don’t have to make the changes alone; the Waynesboro Family YMCA can help you move towards a healthier lifestyle.”

As one of the nation’s leading nonprofits dedicated to strengthening community through healthy living, the Waynesboro Family YMCA is urging residents to assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by visiting Individuals can learn how background and lifestyle choices help determine the ultimate risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include family history, age, weight and activity level, among others.

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
· choose fish, lean meats, and poultry without skin
· aim for whole grains with every meal
· be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week
· choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar
· speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight

To learn more about the Waynesboro Family YMCA and Healthy Living Programs, contact Mary Beth Robb at 540-943-9622 ext. 211.

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