In 2013 the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs was awarded a Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The grant brought together a wide array of community, foundational, educational, and healthcare leaders to focus on policy, systems, and environmental change in order to reduce the rate of childhood obesity in Massachusetts.



Separate from the Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities work but working closely together the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs is focusing on childhood obesity throughout the Massachusetts Y’s. This works includes implementing the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards in all Y’s, sponsoring a primary prevention program for all Y’s to utilize, and supporting local childhood obesity initiatives.



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.
The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is growing nationwide. Thirteen YMCA Associations offer YDPP in Massachusetts.
  • Athol Area YMCA
  • Attleboro YMCA
  • Cape Cod YMCA
  • YMCA of Greater Boston
  • Hockomock Area YMCA
  • Greater Holyoke YMCA
  • Greenfield YMCA
  • Malden YMCA
  • Merrimack Valley YMCA
  • MetroWest YMCA
  • YMCA of the North Shore
  • YMCA Southcoast
  • Old Colony YMCA
  • South Shore YMCA
  • YMCA of Greater Springfield


For a map of the areas served by YDPP, click here.

©2014-2017 Massachusetts Alliance of YMCAs