Summer 2015

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torrancememorial.org PULSE | 17 D espite being home to one of the most health-conscious populations in America, 1 in 10 of Los Angeles County's residents suffers from diabetes. e cost of treating diabetes and its complications adds up to a hey $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. is collaboration was an opportunity to impact community health." e 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. "e 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. e 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. ere 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." e numbers speak for themselves. One group boasted an average weight loss of 6% aer 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. NIP DIABETES IN THE BUD THE YMCA, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TORRANCE MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, HELPS PREDIABETICS TURN THEIR LIVES AROUND. The program is offered at several locations through- out 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. WRITTEN BY REBECCAH GLASER C O M M U N I T Y B E N E F I T

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