STATEMENT OF KEVIN WASHINGTON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, YMCA OF THE USA, ON DECLINE IN NUMBERS OF NEW CASES OF DIABETES

At the Y we were excited to learn of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention report indicating a drop in the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes over the past ten years.

While there are many reasons given for the decline, the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) is a significant driver in helping those identified as having prediabetes prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. As the first community-based organization to offer the National DPP – and the largest in-person provider of the program – we are thrilled to see that our efforts, along with the efforts of many other partners, are paying off.

Currently, the Y delivers the YMCA’s DPP in 42 states and has served more than 64,000 participants and are consistently achieving the programmatic weight loss and physical activity goals nationally. YMCAs partner with state and local diabetes programs to raise awareness of prediabetes and to deepen the reach and scale of the program.

But our success in reducing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes after a 20-year increase does not mean we can rest. There are still 84 million Americans at risk for diabetes and the DPP has been proven to reduce their risk of developing the disease. Our work to deliver the program to more people, encourage public and private payers to offer the program as a covered benefit and advocate for CDC dollars to expand the National DPP will continue. Now that the program is covered by Medicare, we hope it will address the high rates of older Americans at high risk of type 2 diabetes.

We thank CDC for its guidance and partnership over the past 10 years as the DPP has grown and made a real difference in people’s lives. We look forward to our continued partnership in working toward a future where type 2 diabetes ceases to be at epidemic levels in our nation.

Friday, May 31, 2019

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