Healthy Living

Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities


In 2013 the Virginia Alliance of YMCAs was awarded a Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the YMCA of the USA. The grant brought together a wide array of public health, education, business, and policy leaders to focus on policy, systems, and environmental change in order to reduce the rate of childhood obesity in Virginia. Learn more about Virginia's Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities.


Childhood Obesity


In conjunction with the Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities work, the Virginia Alliance of YMCAs placed focus on childhood obesity prevention strategies through internal policy, systems and environmental changes in our childcare sites. This works includes implementing the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards in all Y’s and supporting local childhood obesity initiatives.


The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program

The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program (YDPP) helps those at high risk adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles and reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

YDPP is based on the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which showed that by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and losing a small amount of weight, a person with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58%.

In a classroom setting, a trained lifestyle coach helps program participants change their lifestyles by learning about healthy eating, physical activity, and other behavior changes over the course of 16 one-hour sessions.  Topics covered include nutrition, getting started with physical activity, overcoming stress, staying motivated, and more.  After the initial core sessions, participants will meet monthly for up to a year for added support to help them maintain their progress.