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National Nutrition Month and American Diabetes Association Alert Day

Put Your Best Fork Forward.

This March, the Y celebrates National Nutrition Month®, a month-long focus on healthy eating spearheaded by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. With this year’s theme “Put Your Best Fork Forward’, the Academy encourages all of us to take our nutrition into our own hands--or forks. The Academy suggests that by making small changes during National Nutrition Month® ,and over time, health improvements begin now and last well into the future.

What began as a week-long emphasis on healthy eating in the 1970s has expanded to a month-long focus on nutrition to raise awareness about the importance of healthy eating. Poor nutrition leads to serious health problems, from nutritional deficiencies and obesity to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. As your partner in healthy living, the Y offers programs and tools to help you and your family eat right and stay active:

  • FitQuest helps you become more aware of your nutrition as your track your food intake and monitor your progress in the gym—not to mention that friendly staff that come with it to help you reach your goals! To book an appointment or to learn more visit
  • Y-Change teaches you how to read food labels, eat proper portions, and make wise choices when grocery shopping—and is FREE with your membership! Y-Change is offered for families, individuals, and even kids.
  • The Diabetes Prevention Program encourages adults at-risk for type 2 diabetes who need to make long-term lifestyle changes to lower their blood sugar levels through nutrition, exercise, and weight loss. For nutrition tips, recipes and strategies to eat healthier this month and beyond, visit

During National Nutrition Month, the Y also recognizes American Diabetes Association Alert Day on March 28. Alert Day is a call to action for everyone to find out his or her risk for type 2 diabetes. While more than 86 million Americans are estimated to have prediabetes, only 11% know it. People with prediabetes have an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other serious health complications. In South Hampton Roads alone, an estimated 448,000 people have prediabetes. Without preventative care, between 15 and 30% of these individuals will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

The Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program is working to change these statistics. As one of the leading community-based lifestyle improvement programs for adults with prediabetes, the Diabetes Prevention Program empowers adults to improve their overall health through nutrition, exercise, and weight-loss, thereby reducing their chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Participants learn practical strategies to improve nutrition, eat healthier and lose weight, while sharing their personal struggles with their peers. Since the program began locally in 2014, the Y has enrolled more than 220 individuals who have lost an average 4.1% of their body weight

Know your risk. Take a simple test to find out if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and contact your local Y to learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program.

The Y offers scholarships to ensure everyone has access to life-changing wellness programs like FitQuest, Y-Change, and the Diabetes Prevention Program. Scholarships are made possible through the generous support of our donors. To support the Y’s efforts to help you and your community live healthier every day, contact your local YMCA or make a gift online today.

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads is dedicated to putting Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.