YMCA of the USA Applauds Introduction of Diabetes Prevention Act

Legislation will expand community-based programs that can reverse the course of diabetes

WASHINGTON, November 5, 2009 — The Diabetes Prevention Act of 2009 introduced by Senator Al Franken, D-Minn., and Senator Dick Lugar, R-Indiana, today represents significant steps toward putting proven community-based prevention programs to work to reduce the effects of diabetes and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans, according to the YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for the nation’s 2,686 YMCAs.

"Senators Franken and Lugar are to be commended for their foresight in understanding that community-based programs that help people make lifestyle behavior changes, such as those proposed in the Diabetes Prevention Act, not only reduce health care costs, but also save and improve lives," said Neil Nicoll, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA. 

Nearly 24 million Americans are living with diabetes and an additional 57 million with pre-diabetes.  The Diabetes Prevention Act will establish a national community-based diabetes prevention program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that will target those at highest risk of developing diabetes in order to eliminate the preventable burden of the disease.

The legislation expands implementation of the national Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) at the community level.  The DPP, a clinical trial conducted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), found that individuals diagnosed with pre-diabetes who engage in regular physical activity and lose five to ten percent of their body weight can decrease their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.  In fact, a number of studies, including the DPP, have shown over half of new cases of type 2 diabetes can be avoided with structural lifestyle intervention programs.

Demonstration projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and CDC in partnership with Indiana University and the YMCA show carefully designed group lifestyle interventions can be delivered in community settings for less than $400 over two years and can achieve similar results to the DPP for adults with pre-diabetes.  This Diabetes Prevention Act will provide grants to implement community-based diabetes prevention model sites and programs, including mechanisms for training, recognition, evaluation, technical assistance and research.

"Several YMCA's have successfully replicated the national Diabetes Prevention Program in their communities, and have seen significant results," said Nicoll.  "YMCA of the USA urges passage of the Diabetes Prevention Act and commits to working toward expansion of proven programs that will help Americans at risk for diabetes develop healthy lifestyles that last a lifetime."

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Kelly Kennai
YMCA of the USA

Thursday, November 5, 2009

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