The Revised Village People Lyric May Soon Be “It’s Fun to Exercise at the YMCA,” Thanks to Its Diabetes Prevention Program

The second “intervention” group attended 16 classroom-type meetings. Each session lasted 60 to 90 minutes and covered such topics as goal setting, self-monitoring, problem solving and exercise techniques.

Nov 17, 2008

With more than 2,500 facilities serving 10,000 communities that run the gamut from big-city downtowns to small rural sites, the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) could turn out to be a powerful tool in the fight to prevent diabetes.

And if further research shows that YMCA-like civic institutions work well at disseminating diabetes prevention skills, the responsibility for educating people about the disease could spread way beyond hospitals, clinics, and doctors' offices. 

That's the conclusion reached by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine after they tracked 92 pre-diabetic persons who attended courses at two YMCAs located in greater Indianapolis.

Participants were divided into two groups of 46. One group visited the first YMCA and was given standard diabetes prevention advice, which consisted of regular educational materials such as handouts and brochures. 

The second "intervention" group attended 16 classroom-type meetings at the other YMCA over a four- to five-month period. Each session lasted 60 to 90 minutes and covered such topics as goal setting, self-monitoring, and problem solving, as well as exercise techniques. 

Although the 92-person sample was small, results were gratifying. Follow-ups made four to six months after the study showed that the "intervention" participants had lost six percent of their body weight (an average of 12.5 pounds) versus a two percent body weight decrease in the group that had received standard diabetes prevention advice. 

"In previous studies, a five percent weight loss was associated with a 58 percent reduction in risk of developing diabetes," said the study's leader, Ronald Ackermann, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at Iowa University and an affiliated scientist of the Regenstrief Institute. He added that the weight loss was accompanied by "significant reductions of total cholesterol."

Researchers' interest in testing the usefulness of community-based organizations like the YMCA to deliver diabetes prevention advice is based on the growing number of Americans (an estimated 60 million) who are believed to be pre-diabetic. People with pre-diabetes tend to be overweight and have high levels of blood sugar and insulin resistance-classic precursors to type 2 diabetes.

"By lowering the cost of and expanding the accessibility to diabetes prevention services, the YMCA may not only serve to increase the number of individuals with pre-diabetes who have access to and can pay for evidence-based diabetes prevention; it may also provide a compelling model for health plan reimbursement," said Dr. Ackerman. 

"This provides yet another compelling reason to develop and test novel strategies that link community-based program delivery with existing clinical services that could help to identify and activate more adults with pre-diabetes."

The study was published in the October 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Exercise, Insulin, Research, Support Groups, Type 2 Issues, Weight Loss

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (1)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by HOFIII on 18 November 2008

What an excellent idea! Being pre-diabetic myself,after losing thirteen pounds from 169 to 156, my A1c was 5.4 and my total cholesterol was 148. the abdominal fat is the culprit, I've found. I just switched from brown rice to steamed cabbage in my daily dinner menu regime and the pounds fell off. Carb control is HUGE and really does work.

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.