As a result of high sugar consumption and increased rates of obesity worldwide, people everywhere are at greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Wakeup call

How can we ignore the benefits of disease prevention through nutrition in a world where 70 percent of Type 2 diabetes cases are largely preventable with a commitment to healthy diet and other lifestyle changes?

A healthy diet, defined as one low in sugar, salt and saturated fat, can help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and reduce complications in people with all types of diabetes. While not all types of diabetes can be prevented with a healthy diet, namely Type 1 diabetes, it is well accepted that all types of diabetes can be more effectively managed when healthy eating is prioritized.

"It’s imperative that every nation, policy leader, health care provider and citizen halts the diabetes epidemic through a commitment to a healthier lifestyle."

At large

Today, 415 million people live with diabetes worldwide (1 in 11 people), a figure likely to increase by 55 percent (642 million) unless national leaders take immediate action for preventive strategies emphasizing access for improved nutrition.

It’s imperative that every nation, policy leader, health care provider and citizen halts the diabetes epidemic through a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Our call to action—making healthy eating a right, not just a privilege—is especially dedicated to those at greatest risk in low- and middle-income countries, where 75 percent of all diabetes cases exist.

Collateral damage

The personal and public costs of diabetes are high. Millions of lives continue to be destroyed by a disease that represents 12 percent of the world’s health expenditure (USD 673 billion). As healthcare dollars rise dramatically, diabetes numbers grow with a ferocious terror, burdening health care systems, economies and families.

In support of our global effort to fight diabetes with healthier choices, World Diabetes Day is no longer a one-day event. This year, we ask people to take a stand for healthy eating and improved diabetes care all year long, because better decision making is required of us all, every day.