Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 7:11 am | Overcast 64º


Montecito Family YMCA Urges Locals to Assess Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Following alarming data in a landmark study on diabetes published by UC Los Angeles this month and in conjunction with Diabetes Alert Day, observed this year on March 22, the Montecito Family YMCA is encouraging local residents both to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease.

Statistics from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research study found that nearly half of California adults, including one out of every three young adults, have prediabetes. The research provides the first analysis and breakdown of California prediabetes rates by county, age and ethnicity. 

In Santa Barbara County, 47 percent of adults have prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes. The county follows the state trend of rates among young adults, with 33 percent of 18-39 year olds having prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes.

Nine percent of Santa Barbara County adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the study.

The YMCA offers a simple test where individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. The test can be accessed at Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease.

Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.

Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it, but with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition that occurs when a person’s body does not make enough insulin to process the sugars consumed through food or when the body doesn’t effectively use the insulin the body does produce.

Diabetes is a serious chronic condition that can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, loss of limbs and blindness.

“The number of new people with prediabetes continues to rise, and with that the importance of helping people understand what a prediabetes diagnosis means,” said Margo Byrne, chief operations officer of the Channel Islands YMCA. “Type 2 diabetes affects not just the person but entire families as well, but the good news is that it is possible to reverse course — simple lifestyle changes reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and the Y can help people make the necessary changes to improve health.”

Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes, including the following:

» Eat fruits and vegetables every day.

» Choose fish, lean meats and poultry without skin.

» Aim for whole grains with every meal.

» Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.

» Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.

» Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight. 
The Montecito Family YMCA offers members free fitness orientations and progressive group exercise classes such as ZUMBA, cycling, aqua aerobics, yoga, swimming and more to help prevent and eliminate type 2 diabetes. 

To learn more about the Montecito Family YMCA healthy living programs, contact Jane Gama Noyes at [email protected].

Hannah Rael is a publicist representing the Montecito Family YMCA.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >