Know Your Risk: November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a time for all Summit Area YMCA's members and community to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Following a year of reduced activity due to COVID-19, 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. 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 and stroke.

Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. To address this issue, the Summit Area YMCA will be offering the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program starting in 2022, which helps overweight adults achieve moderate weight loss through healthier eating and increased physical activity, potentially preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. 

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a group-based lifestyle intervention for adults at high-risk of developing type 2 diabetes and has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58 percent overall and by 71 percent in adults over 60.

“A new study from the University of Michigan revealed that over one third of Americans put off healthcare during the pandemic,” said Valeria Tenreiro, Wellness Director, Summit Area YMCA. “This makes it more imperative than ever for community members to be aware of the health risks of prediabetes. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program will provide a safe and supportive environment where people can learn to change behaviors and potentially decrease chances of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.”

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes by taking a simple 1-minute risk 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’s Diabetes Prevention Program, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led National Diabetes Prevention Program, is a 12-month evidence-based program that features a lifestyle coach who helps participants learn tactics for healthy eating, physical activity and other lifestyle changes during 25, one-hour classroom sessions. Long-term program goals include reducing participants’ body weight by 5 to 7 percent and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week. The Summit Area YMCA will be expanding the availability of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (YMCA’s DPP) to eligible Medicare participants as a covered benefit.

Nationally, more than 70,000 people participated in the program at over 1,100 sites in 47 states throughout the country. Participants who completed the year-long program lost an average of 5.5 percent of body weight and completed an average of 168 minutes of physical activity per week.

About Type 2 Diabetes:

· Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed more often in adults, and type 1 diabetes is diagnosed more often in children, but the rates of type 2 diabetes are increasing rapidly for both adults and children.

· Adults with diabetes or prediabetes are at higher risk of developing heart disease and stroke than other groups of people.

· People who are overweight, inactive and over the age of 45 are at risk for the disease.

· If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a health care provider can confirm if a person has diabetes or prediabetes. Medicare covers the cost of screenings for beneficiaries.

· Individuals can reduce their risk for developing diabetes. Research has shown that modest weight loss and regular, moderate physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among adults at risk.

· Medical expenses for people with diabetes are more than two times higher than for people without diabetes.

· The average medical expenses for a person with diabetes are $13,700 per year.

· In 2018, the total cost of diagnosed diabetes was $327 billion, up from $245 billion in 2012; this is a 26 percent increase over a five-year period.

For more information about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program contact Valeria Tenreiro at, by filling out the form below or visit


In addition, the Summit Area YMCA offers many exercise and nutrition programs for all ages to improve overall health along. Some of these programs include Personal and Small Group Training, Wellness Coaching and Healthy U program for children.

To learn more about the Summit Area Y’s healthy programs, please visit our program guide.

Wellness Coaches at the YMCA can work with diabetes patients in a variety of ways including providing self-management support. bridging the gap between clinician and patient, offering emotional support and resources and serving as a continuity figure. Coaches facilitate a patient-directed process of evaluation and assessment, exploration, tracking and accountability and assist in co-creating a plan that is tailored to the patient. Health & Wellness Coaches can work with a patient individually or in small groups.

Wellness Coaches can help create a whole-life integrated wellness plan toward managing diabetes and bringing about the lifestyle changes needed for a healthier life. Coaches serve as an ally to help those challenged with diabetes follow through with their health & wellness plan so they can achieve their goals toward their best life possible. For more information on the YMCA Wellness Programs, go to

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.
• 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 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.

Questions? Contact:


Wellness Director

(908)273-3330 Ext. 1137




In 1886, we were founded as the Young Men's Christian Association, but today, we are The Y. An association that values, and is made stronger by, its diverse people. We stand for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility — For a better us. We are committed to creating equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, age, disability, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive culture in which our four core values — responsibility, honesty, caring and respect — are integral to everyday operations.

Each year, as one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations, the Summit Area YMCA serves more than 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the New Jersey communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Our history is rooted in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those in need.