Breakthrough: Huge diabetes success has major implications

Breakthrough: Huge diabetes success has major implications

Could this be a big new solution for diabetes sufferers?

A major new finding indicates that people who have a high risk of developing diabetes lost about 5 percent of total body weight in a YMCA program.

It’s been so successful that federal officials are pushing for the expansion of the initiative, according to a YMCA of the USA statement.

YMCAs received about $12 million in 2011 to launch the program through the Affordable Care Act. It included nutrition and fitness counseling, as well as lifestyle coaching for individuals who are Medicare recipients.

Proponents argue that the program would pay for itself by saving $2,650 per participant over 15 months. An estimated 30 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, which is a major cause of death in the country. A huge amount of American adults have pre-diabetes — about one in three, according to estimates.

The program could give employers and insurers a reason to start paying for diabetes prevention programs.

“The YMCA’s DPP is a shining example of the benefits that are possible when community-based organizations partner with health care providers to deliver preventive services outside of the clinic and hospital setting – particularly services that community members may not otherwise be able to afford or access in traditional health care settings,” the statement reads. “The YMCA’s DPP helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease.”

The statement adds: “The YMCA’s close partnerships with public health, physicians, health care systems, employees, insurers, patient advocates, policymakers and others have enabled the Y to effectively address gaps in care and reach more people. Through this work, health resources have become more accessible, health care providers leverage support of natural partners in the neighborhoods where their patients live, health outcomes improve, costs go down and the entire community can take accountability for population health.”

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