THE YMCA, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TORRANCE MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, HELPS PREDIABETICS
TURN THEIR LIVES AROUND.
Despite being home to one of the most health-conscious populations in America,
1 in 10 of Los Angeles County’s residents suffers from diabetes.
The cost of treating diabetes and its complications adds up to a hefty
$6 billion annually—costing a pretty penny in both community health
and resources. A solution, however, is brewing in the county’s YMCAs.
Created in partnership with the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) and the
Torrance Memorial Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute, the
YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program at the Torrance-South Bay YMCA was born with one idea in mind: to assist
at risk community members in creating a healthier lifestyle.
“Torrance Memorial and the Torrance-South Bay YMCA have had a long-standing
mutually supportive community partnership,” says Claire Coignard,
director of health education and outreach services for Torrance Memorial.
“Our Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute had been seeking an opportunity
to develop some supporting practices in the community for managing prediabetes.
This collaboration was an opportunity to impact community health.”
The program’s goal: to help participants achieve a 7% weight loss
and increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week by creating an
educational and positive environment that is conducive to forming healthy
new habits. Its design nips diabetes in the bud, treating those who are
considered to be prediabetic.
“The Torrance-South Bay YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program
has already positively impacted the health of many participants in this
program,” says Jamisson Costa, the program’s regional director.
“Participants were able to become more active, adopt healthier eating
habits, achieve substantial weight loss outcomes and reduce their risk
of developing type 2 diabetes. The partnership with Torrance Memorial
has enhanced the quality of the lifestyle intervention for diabetes prevention.
I am thrilled to be able to witness and be a part of the effectiveness
of this program.”
Facilitated by a trained lifestyle coach in a small group setting, participants
learn new skills and develop healthy habits over 12 months. From exercise
tips to advice on portion control, calories and fat, the program has a
staggering success rate—most will destroy diabetes before it even
has a chance to take root. And the support doesn’t end there—participants
receive a family membership to the YMCA while in the program.
“I learned about the YMCA diabetes program from my doctor [Anna Mellor, MD]. She mentioned group exercises and weekly meetings,” says Kerry
Hutchins, a program participant. “None of that appealed to me, and
though I was pessimistic, I decided I would try it. To my surprise the
group exercises have become my favorite part! I have met wonderful lifestyle
leaders and exercise instructors who have encouraged me and helped me
grow as a person. There are still challenging days, but then I focus on
where I started and the progress I have made—and it helps me to
continue to pursue this healthier life.”
The numbers speak for themselves. One group boasted an average weight loss
of 6% after just 4 months. A weight loss of as few as 10 pounds can drastically
improve insulin resistance, allowing prediabetic participants to continue
on the road to a worry-free lifestyle.
The program is offered at several locations throughout the South Bay and
LA County. To find out more, visit
ymcaLA.org/DPP or contact Jamisson Costa at 310-602-4905 or JamissonCosta@ymcaLA.org.