Diabetes Prevention Program


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 84 million people had prediabetes in 2015. People with diabetes are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled as the US population has aged and become more overweight. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based program that helps overweight adults at risk for type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and losing a modest amount of weight. This program provides a supportive environment where participants work together to achieve the following goals:

• Reduction in individual body weight by 7%

• Increase in moderate physical activity (the equivalent of brisk walking) to 150 minutes per week

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program uses a CDC-approved curriculum and is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. In a classroom setting, a Y-USA trained Lifestyle Coach facilitates a small group of participants—anywhere from 8 to 15 —in working together to problem solve around barriers to healthier eating, exchanging ideas for how to incorporate more physical activity into daily routines, and developing action plans to support sustainable behavior change. Over the course of 25 sessions, the year-long program consists of 19 sessions in the first six months (16 weekly, 3 biweekly) and six monthly sessions in the second six months. Each session lasts one hour and includes a weigh in.


The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was directly translated from the National Institutes of Health Diabetes Prevention Program trial, a clinical study that showed a lifestyle change intervention yielding modest weight loss (5 to 7%) and increased physical activity (up to 150 minutes per week) can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes in adults by 58% and 71% in adults over the age of 60.


Program participants may be Y members or non-members. To participate in the program, participants must meet all of the following qualification criteria:

  • Adults 18+ years of age
  • Overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2; Asian individuals BMI ≥ 23 kg/m2)
  • At risk for or have been diagnosed with prediabetes
    • Confirmed via one of three blood tests
      • A1c between 5.7% and 6.4%
      • Fasting Plasma Glucose between 100-125 mg/dL
      • 2-Hour (75 gm glucola) Plasma Glucose between 140-199 mg/dL
    • If blood values are unavailable, confirmed via qualifying risk score
    • Confirmed via a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes

Individuals who have already been diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes do not qualify for this program.


Click the map at right for YMCA locations and contact staff in Wisconsin and upper Michigan.


This map lists all Y locations that currently offer Diabetes Prevention Program.

Updates can be emailed to jwohlt@uppermidwestymcas.org

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