When you think about the YMCA, you might think about camps, the pool or the gym. But what about diabetes prevention? The YMCA and the Vermont Foodbank are teaming up to tackle a diabetes prevention initiative.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 55,780 people in Vermont or 10 percent of adults have diabetes. An estimated 16,000 have diabetes but don't know it, and 174,000 people in Vermont have pre-diabetes.
The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program is a series of workshops that teach people how to eat cleaner. Representatives from the YMCA and the Foodbank told us diabetes is a discreet disease at the beginning and that's why many Americans living with it don't even know they have it. They say the program has introduced Vermonters to vegetables they wouldn't otherwise eat.
"The heart and soul of it is really sharing the joy and the beauty of fresh food with others through cooking demos and tastings giving people a chance to try something they've never tried before or something they might think they don't even like," said Michelle Wallace of the Vermont Foodbank.
Diabetes costs an estimated $543 million in Vermont each year.
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