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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

As diabetes rates continues to rise, Bay Area residents need to know they are at risk.

Take the prediabetes risk quiz


November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, providing the opportunity for all people to gauge their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and to talk to their doctors.

It is estimated that 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes, yet only 10 percent know they have the condition. In California, 55% of residents are already living with prediabetes or diabetes.


What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious health condition that affects the pancreas. It is characterized by blood sugar levels that are abnormally high.

  • Today, 1 in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of diabetes cases
  • Diabetes is a top 10 leading cause of death in the U.S.


What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes happens before type 2 diabetes. It is characterized by blood sugar levels that are abnormally high, but not high enough to be diagnosed diabetes. People with prediabetes are also at risk for other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and stroke.

  • 1 in 3 U.S. adults – more than 80 million people – have prediabetes
  • Prediabetes may show little or no symptoms
  • Only 10% of people with prediabetes know they have it


Know your risk

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test. Through this assessment, visitors will learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease.

Several factors put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Weight
  • Family History
  • Physical Activity Level

If a person is at risk, a formal diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis


The good news

The good news is that healthy lifestyle practices, such as healthy eating, regular physical activity, and managing stress are shown to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with these conditions, and in some cases may even reverse or prevent the disease. 


The Y is fighting back!

The YMCA of San Francisco offers the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, a one-year healthy lifestyle program which helps adults reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Participants spend a year focused on making healthy changes, and are surrounded by supportive people with common goals (8-15 people per group). They’ll receive hands-on guidance from Lifestyle Coaches trained on a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-approved curriculum, and work toward making sustainable lifestyle changes that support reduced diabetes risk.

Programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program have been shown to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58 percent overall, and by 71 percent in adults over age 60.

Nationally, more than 55,000 people have participated in the program at more than 1,100 sites in 47 states throughout the country. Participants who completed the yearlong program lost an average of 5.5 percent of body weight and completed an average of 160 minutes of physical activity per week. Read Vanda's Story

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.