Diabetes Programs

Diabetes Prevention

The YMCA of WNC's Diabetes Prevention Program encourages participants at risk of type 2 diabetes to eat healthier, increase physical activity, and lose a modest amount of weight in a supportive, small group environment. We offer virtual and classroom sessions at no charge. 

Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. Diabetes affects more than 29 million people. A condition called prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

More than 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes has no cure, but prediabetes can be reversed.

Chances are you know at least one person with diabetes and probably more than one with prediabetes. To find out if you're at risk, take this quick test. Then share the test with friends and family.

The Y Can Help

The YMCA of Western North Carolina offers two evidence-based programs for diabetes prevention.

  • The Diabetes Prevention Program helps those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by encouraging participants to eat healthier, increase physical activity and lose a modest amount of weight in a small-group environment. By making and maintaining these modest lifestyle changes, a participant can reduce the chances of developing diabetes.
  • The Minority Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) is a year-long, group-based program that helps people make realistic and achievable lifestyle changes. The program is available to qualifying participants and includes a YMCA household membership. The Y and ABIPA offer the program at multiple locations and times in Buncombe, Henderson, and McDowell counties.


For more information, please contact the Community Health team, call 828 251 5910, or complete the interest form below.


Diabetes Facts

The CDC has been involved in extensive research on prediabetes and diabetes in the United States. Their findings suggest that this disease continues to be a growing issue for people of all ages and backgrounds:

  • Diabetes affects 29.1 million people in the United States, 8.1 million of which are undiagnosed.
  • Fewer than 11% of the Americans affected by prediabetes actually know it.
  • People with prediabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless action is taken to prevent or delay the disease.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Medical expenses for people with diabetes are 2.3 times greater than those without.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people age 20-74.
  • People with diabetes are at greater risk for nerve damage, dental disease, lower limb amputation, depression, and complications during pregnancy.

Diabetes in North Carolina

  • Is ranked 13th highest for adult diabetes prevalence.
  • At 12.6%, residents in Western North Carolina have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than other regions in the state.
  • In McDowell County, 10.6% of the population are diabetic and another 7.8% are prediabetic.
  • In Henderson County, 9.3% of the population have type 2 diabetes and another 6% qualify as prediabetic.
  • In Buncombe County, 11.8% of the population have type 2 diabetes and another 6.7% have prediabetes.