Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes or know someone who is?  In Tillamook County, there is currently 11.3% of the population that have type 2 diabetes, and approximately 30% at risk for prediabetes.  The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association through their research “Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes,” found that lifestyle modifications such as those taught by the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) reduced the number of people with type 2 diabetes by 58%. Fortunately, the YMCA in Tillamook offers DPP, which is a Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Diabetes Prevention Program. The program is sponsored by Northwest Senior and Disability (NWSDS), and is at no cost for those who qualify. The DPP class is offered weekly for the first 16 weeks and take place during the lunch hour, noon-1 p.m. on Tuesdays. After the first 4 months, the group meets every other week. Program instructor Kelly Benson praises the program, emphasizing the success of the group in being able to track their progress, and notes an overall successful effort in individual attitude and perception change.

Taking a closer look at the program, DPP participants will work with a knowledgeable lifestyle coach in a small group setting who will introduce topics on healthy eating, physical activity, behavior changes, as well as weight loss and how it can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Linda Langer is an active resident of Tillamook county who has had quite a success with YMCA’s DPP. Linda reports a lifelong battle with weight management and started going to the Tillamook YMCA five years ago. After losing 12 lbs., she reports feeling “stuck” and was worried that she might be at a permanent plateau in her weight loss. Through trainers at the YMCA, Linda was connected to the DPP program. Upon starting the yearlong program in April 2019, Linda has lost an additional 28 lbs. to date, and exercises 3x per week. She reports being motivated by having more energy, and adds her mental wellbeing is affected positively. She also notes that the group setting of the program helps to build community and accountability as participants can share and connect stories of success, struggles, and encouragement. The most significant take away from the program so far that Linda reports, is that it taught her how to be more mindful of food choices and the impact those choices will have on her health. She finds being extra-focused and mindful is especially important when attending events and celebrations.

If you have already received a prediabetes diagnosis or are interested in learning if you are at risk, attend the upcoming no-cost Tillamook YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program orientation on Tuesday October 29th from noon -1 p.m., no sign-up required for the orientation! For more information, call 503-842-9622 ext. 111.  You may also take a type 2 diabetes risk test online at or talk with your primary care physician about your risk factors and blood test options.

For more local health and wellness information follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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About the Author : Shelby Porter